“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Delafield in Waukesha County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Hawks Inn

Hawks Inn Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul F, September 20, 2009
1. Hawks Inn Marker
Inscription.  Built in 1846 of hand-hewn timbers and hand-made nails. Builder & owner was Nelson Paige Hawks (1799-1863), a cultured Yankee, who was Delafield’s first Postmaster, a Justice of the Peace, Town Chairman, owner of a grist & saw mill, & builder of first town hall. This Inn was the most popular stage coach stop between Waukesha & Madison on the Milw.-Madison line. It is one of 13 buildings in Waukesha County cited by the Historic American Bldg. Survey of the U.S. Dept. of Interior.

It was moved from its original site in 1960 by Hawks Inn Historical Society. It now opens its doors to the past.
Erected 1969 by Waukesha County Historical Society. (Marker Number 05-02.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1846.
Location. 43° 3.593′ N, 88° 24.398′ W. Marker is in Delafield, Wisconsin, in Waukesha County. Marker is on Wells St, ¼ mile west of Genessee St (Cnty Rd C), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Delafield WI 53018, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within
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2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Delafield Fish Hatchery (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); St. John's Military Academy (approx. 0.4 miles away); Northwestern Military and Naval Academy (approx. 0.4 miles away); Cushing Memorial Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bishop Jackson Kemper Home Built 1849 (approx. one mile away); Nashotah Mission (approx. 1.8 miles away); Lapham Peak (approx. 2 miles away); a different marker also named Lapham Peak (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Delafield.
Additional commentary.
1. History of Hawk's Inn
Nelson Hawks and his wife Hannah and family came to Wisconsin from New York state in 1837. Before coming to Wisconsin he was the inventor of the first shingle-making machine in 1836 with a patent signed by President Andrew Jackson. The family first settled in a log cabin on 160 acres in Aztalan in Jefferson County near a Native American village. They sold this land in 1839 and moved to Milwaukee for a short time living at the American House and then purchased the Fountain House. Nelson Crocker Hawks was born there and because of his health, they decided to settle down in a place Mr. Hawks named Delafield. There he built a log cabin and evetually added on a wooden frame addition because of
Hawks Inn Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Paul F, September 20, 2009
2. Hawks Inn Marker
all the travelers who stayed with them. He became the first postmaster, justice of the peace, town chairman, owner of a grist mill and saw mill, and builder of the first town hall. Then in 1846 Mr. Hawks built a large Georgian Revival house of hand-hewn timber and hand-made nails which he called the Delafield Inn. It was known as "One of the best-kept hotels in the Territory". Built on the Territorial road from Milwaukee to Madison, the inn was always extremely busy with the many travelers who stopped to rest for the night.

Many teamsters stayed with him en route from Mineral Point to Milwaukee with their iron ore loads. Stagecoaches stopped once a day with travelers who were homesteaders, miners, trappers, traders and territorial politicians.

The inn was moved from its original site to the current museum site in 1960. Today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is open as an educational museum with the visitor center offering both tours and special events.
    — Submitted June 7, 2011, by Linda Hansen of Waukesha, Wisconsin.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on June 21, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,628 times since then and 24 times this year. Last updated on June 20, 2011, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on June 21, 2010, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 20, 2024