Tours of historic homes in Rural
Village listed on National Register of Historic Places
Visitors to the Rural House Walk can step back in time to experience the architecture of a 19th century village.
Located 5 miles southwest of Waupaca, Rural is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This year, the village is opening its doors to the public for guided tours of a selection of its historical homes.
The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, in conjunction with Waupaca’s Fall-O-Rama.
The Rural House Walk features guided tours of six historical homes built in the mid 1800s.
In addition to the houses, the event also features the Rural Historical Society Headquarters displays and tours of the Rural Cemetery, resting place of many of the original village inhabitants. There will also be a sheep barn with antiques on display.
Tickets for the event are $15 for adults and $5 for children 10 and younger. Discounted tickets and further information are available online at Ruralhistoricalsociety.com.
Tickets will also be sold on the day of the event at the entrances to the village, one at State Highway 22 and Rural Road and the other at the intersection of Radley and Main Streets in Rural. Free parking is available.
Tickets will also be available on the day of the event at the Rural Historical booth at Waupaca’s Fall-O-Rama festivities.
In addition to house tours, food concessions will be available throughout the day.
The following houses and sites will be open for tours:
Around 1860, Joshua Dake built his family’s house in Rural. The original staircase, banister, wide-plank floors and glass windowpanes are among the retained elements of the Greek revival architecture.
The current owners are jewelers. Their clock collection is a must see.
Originally this building, constructed in 1876, was occupied by Earl Dake, a grandson of Joshua Dake, builder of the Dake house.
Earl operated a jewelry store out of this building in addition to one in Wild Rose.
In an example of history echoing itself, the current resident is the daughter of jewelers in Waupaca.
Samuel Ashmun House
In 1854, James McCrossen built a simple, cross-gabled house with two single-story wings. He sold it later to Sam and Rachel Ashmun.
Sam and his brother Jehudi Ashmun, also a local resident, purchased a general store and ran it for 39 years, providing additional services at different times such as a local post office, the village’s only phone and a small library.
Sam and Rachel’s daughter, Margaret Ashmun, became a nationally known author of poems, short stories and novels for both children and adults.
The Millinery Shop
The shop was built in 1856 by Aaron Hyatt who was a gunsmith and had a gun shop in the side yard.
It was sold to M.M. Partridge in 1872. Mrs. Partridge ran a millinery shop in this location.
Andrew Potts House
Built in 1853 by Andrew Potts, this house was home to four generations of the Potts family.
It was purchased by Gene and Lois Sorenson in 1987 who converted it into a bed and breakfast. In 2006, Robert and Debra Benada became the owners, and continued developing and restoring the property.
Today, operating under the name of the Crystal River Inn and Cottages, there are also outbuildings that the current owners, Paul and Shayna Cappelle rent out as part of the bed-and-breakfast experience.
The property is easy to identify due to the barn and silo on the site that attracts photographers throughout the year. The Cappelle’s are also showing a separate sheep barn with an antiques display.
Jehudi Ashmun House
The house, built in 1858, was given to Jehudi and Ellen Ashmun as a wedding present from Ellen’s father.
In addition to being a partner in the local general store, Jehudi was a self-taught doctor. He pulled teeth and delivered babies, relying for knowledge on an old set of medical books and his experience.
The house was purchased in 1976 by a young couple whose love of antiques inspired them to run their own antique business out of the home while simultaneously restoring the building. An abundance of wood makes for a stunning interior.
The current owner, has continued the work of restoration, replacing the foundation and updating the building’s systems.
This small village cemetery is the final resting place for many of the original settlers in Rural. Guides will be available to point out significant stones and memorials.
Historical Society House
Built in 1927, this building was the Dayton Town Hall and polling place until the new Dayton Town Hall was built in 1996. In addition to serving as a meeting place for the current Rural Historical Society it also houses historical displays donated by past residents.