Village of Redgranite
13: Foster Road Cemetery is village-owned and has been a final resting place for local residents since the late 1800’s. An exact date of its establishment is unknown since a fire destroyed the documents.
14: William Bonnell was the first owner of this farm home. Mark Bonnell owned it when it became part of the Village of Redgranite. It is the oldest farm residence still standing in the village. It is owned by Roy Preston. The home was pictured in the Northwestern newspaper on September 1, 1976.
15: Redgranite High School Monument. The high school was built in 1909 at a cost of $1,122. The first class graduated in 1913 and the last class in 1948. The high school offered three years of German, algebra, plane & solid geometry, botany, composition, modern & ancient history, English & American literature, themes, physiology, zoology, reviews. It was used as an elementary until the new Redgranite Elementary School was built in 1990. The old high school was torn down in 1991
16: The Pickett Fence house at 414 Foster Road is owned K. Mayer. Stories told about it include one that says Al Capone dropped in to play poker on his way to Illinois from his Northern Wisconsin retreat. The picket fence around this house was hand made by Waino Juslen, Sr., a carpenter. There are 1300 pickets in the fence. There is a moon shape in the chimney because the Moon family owned it at the time. Another owner who was Welch printed stationery which called the house, “The Lum on the Brae”.
17: Trinity Lutheran Church at 330 Foster Road was first organized in 1906 with a church being built in 1939. The original church’s capacity was for 100 people and was located one and a half block south of this building. It was built from lumber recovered from a vacant hotel building. The current church was built in 1963. This church is on the site of the old Ashback quarry. Members of the congregation built by the members themselves with the exception of the plumbing, heating and some of the electrical work. The building has 4,000 square feet of floor space, seats 250 and there is a social hall in the back. Its value in 1963 was $80,000.
18: The house at 306 Foster Road is first house to be erected after the quarry industry started to develop. It was built in 1894-1895 by a carpenter, John Horne for his brother David Horne who was the first owner. The second and current owner is Bernard Zelinske. Little-known facts: Before remodeling the front of the house had beveled glass front windows where the bay window is now. The dining room was a windowless central room which was unheard of in home design in 1904. It had two frosted glass panels on either side of the door between dining & front rooms. Pocket doors slide into the wall between the living room and dining room. The house also had an unusual serpentine roof line.
19: The first congregational church was built in 1904 for the sum of $1950.00 on three lots donated by the Bannerman Granite Company at the corner of Foster Road and Bannerman Avenue. It was difficult to raise funds to hire a minister and many times these early members pooled their resources together with neighboring communities. The church burned down in 1986. All that was left was the bell tower which the congregation decided to use as a memorial. The new church is located at Hwy 21 & Bannerman Road on the east side of Redgranite. (The houses to the east & south of this lot were built in 1904. If you look closely, you can see the granite blocks used in their foundations.)
20: The Bannerman house at 313 Foster Rd. The Bannermans were involved in the quarrying industry and in building the Congregational Church on the corner of Foster Rd & Hwy 21. A photo of Hedley Bannerman & family pictured in front of this house in the early 1900’s is part of the Redgranite history display. Another Bannerman built home is at 411 Bannerman Ave.
21: The “House of Seven Gables” at 403 Foster Road, was built by William and Ella Calvin who came from Missouri in 1905. The house rests on solid rock and is unique in that the foundation is made from blocks quarried from the basement excavation. A boulder that apparently was too difficult to excavate resides in the northeast corner of the basement as part of the foundation. William Calvin, a paving cutter, cut these blocks. His wife, Ella, was a seamstress. The current owners, Glenn & Cheryl Stepniewski bought the house in 1997.
1: The Holcombe Farm, W4866 Happersett Lane is one of the Farm homes in the vicinity of Redgranite settled as early as 1849. The original home still exists in the back of the now two-story farmhouse. It is now owned by Daniel & Jennifer Dibble.
2: The Alaskan on Hwy 21 was the Halfway House in early 1900. Carl Larson & his wife immigrated to the United States and settled in Redgranite because of the quarries. He and a partner were the first owners and operators of the Halfway House which was a renowned local “gentlemen’s club” featuring ladies of the evening. 2004 owner: Karen Jorgensen.
3: A photo on the sign in front of this home shows the house as it was in 1916 when it was owned by Stephan & Anna Marie Torcivia. Pictured standing is Anna Maria & Stephan. Sitting on step is daughter Josephine. Seated on porch is son John, James Angelo & providence Angelo. Current owners are Paul & Roxie Anderson.
4: St Mark’s Catholic Church was built of wood construction in 1906 and could seat 250. The rectory was built in 1946. The new church was built in 1960-1961 and dedicated Oct. 15, 1961 by Bishop Grellinger of the Catholic diocese of Green Bay.
5: The Golonka machine/welding shop was built by George Parker in 1952 on the site of the popular Eagle Theater during its years of decline was used to house an elephant belonging to a carnival business. The building was torn down in the 1940’s. The theatre foundation can still be seen under the current shop.
6: Water Street “Jail”. The myth surrounding this building is that is was the first jail in the area. Built from cut granite block it is estimated to have been built in the early 1900’s.
7: The Redgranite Civic Center was built in 1900 by Charles Tice and his son. It was a general store located at Terrill’s Corners 2 ½ miles north of Redgranite on Pine River Rd. The building was moved to this site in 1905. It has been a jewelry store, warehouse, feed store, recreation center for the Masonic Lodge & Eastern Star, public library and funeral home. In 1965 it became the Redgranite Civic Center and today serves as a meeting place for community groups and senior lunch program.
8: The Downtown Park - History reveals that 1 acre of land for school purposes was deeded to Waushara County District # 1 on July 18, 1882 for $20. This park was the site a three-story Yellow School (Central School). The school was razed in 1948. Records state that John I Dedrick was authorized to sink a well at the schoolhouse corner. The “town pump” still stands on this spot.
9: The Redgranite Bank was built in 1905. Quarry workers lined the street waiting to pick up their pay on payday. The building is owned by Bud Burman and was briefly used as a local history museum.
10: John F. Dedrick laid claim to this land on March 23, 1855. It is called the “Dedrick’s first Addition to the village of Redgranite, Wisconsin in Abstracts of Title. John was one of four farmers who settled in the area before granite was discovered and quarried. The original four were William Bonnell, Louis Ashback, John Dedricks, and George Cronk. Owners after Dedrick are listed on the sign in front of the house. Current owner: Gary Nigbor
11: This brick building on the corner of Pine River St & Hwy 21 was built in between 1904 and 1908. Over the years it has housed a general store, a liquor store, rental rooms upstairs, a butcher shop, a hardware store, motorcycle parts store, and a Laundromat.
12: The Redgranite Quarry is located on the site of the George Cronk farm which was settled here in the mid 1800’s. In 1904 the quarry industry supported many families. On the north side of the quarry alongside Division Street a visitor may see the tall concrete columns that once supported a huge crusher. There were two crushers. The remains of one can be seen from Division St.
Many vintage homes in Redgranite are not on this tour map. You may see some of these 100+ year-old houses – look carefully. If you see granite rock as part of the foundation, chances are you are viewing one of the houses that were built when Redgranite was a boom town. We hope you enjoyed this tour.