The historic home Sun Prairie couldn’t give away will now be demolished

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. – The historic Thompson Family Farmhouse in Sun Prairie, built in 1866, is slated to be demolished.

In 2019, the city offered the home for free to anyone who could move it from its spot along Highway 151, but had no success. Now, all that remains is the Greek revival home’s exterior shell prior to the home being torn down.

“It’s such a loss to our community of Sun Prairie,” said Paul Schoeneman, a Sun Prairie resident and preservationist. “It’s so iconic.”

The home and land it sits on will be flattened in hopes a developer can lure in a large scale grocery store.

“Certainly we’re a community of transition,” said former mayor Joe Chase. “As the transition comes forward, you want to make sure you don’t forget about the past. If there’s an opportunity to integrate some of the past properties, I think that should be one of the important considerations.”

Chase, who now works with a Sun Prairie historical society, said he and the group attempted to get the home placed on the National Register of Historic Places, with no success.

“There were stagecoaches that went through from Milwaukee to Madison (that stayed here),” Chase said. “And of course there were travelers going to work in Madison.”

Both Chase and Schoeneman say they’re upset with the way the city handled the situation, and are hopeful other historic landmarks won’t face the same fate in the future.

“I want this community to be remembering its past and have icons of its past still available for people to see,” Chase said.

“I hope this profound loss is a teaching moment to avoid further loss of historic buildings in Sun Prairie,” Schoeneman said.