Milton House

Also known as: Goodrich, Joseph, House and Cabin
18 S. Janesville St., Milton, Wisconsin


Milton House

Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey

View photos at Library of Congress



This tall hexagonal building, constructed of concrete grout and covered with plaster, is nationally significant not because of its unusual shape and construction, but because of its ante-bellum usage. Built as a hotel, it and the nearby log Goodrich Cabin served as stops on the Underground Railroad. Fugitive slaves could enter the cabin, open a trapdoor, and make their way through a tunnel to the Milton House, where the Goodrich family provided food, shelter, and assistance to reach their next stop on their way to Canada and freedom. This property illustrates the westward spread of abolition and its transformation from a moral to a political issue. Joseph Goodrich, who moved from New York state to Wisconsin, founded Milton and was proprietor of the hotel, was one of many who brought the reform movement and its ideals westward.
National Historic Landmark statement of significance, August 6, 1998

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on February 1, 1972
Reference number
Areas of significance
Transportation; Architecture; Social History
Levels of significance
National; Local
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction; B - Person
Property type
Historic functions
Hotel; Specialty store
Current function
Period of significance
Significant years
1838; 1844
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2
Contributing structures: 1
Contributing sites: 1

Update Log 

  • June 22, 2011: New photos from J.R. Manning