Paoli in Dane County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A meander of the Sugar River, providing an excellent waterpower opportunity, prompted Peter W. Matts to acquire acreage in Montrose Township in 1846. He erected a sawmill in 1847, soon followed by his home, a tavern and a general store. Matts platted Paoli in 1856, and named it for a town near his Pennsylvania birthplace.
In 1864, Francis and Bernard Minch purchased the sawmill and built a stone grist mill. By the mid 1870s, the community boasted a school, post office, two churches, a cheese factory, two hotels, a doctor and several tradesmen.
The Chicago, Madison and Northern Railroad bypassed Paoli in 1888, but the settlement prospered past the turn of the century; the proud possessor of a local band, an acclaimed baseball team and theatre group. The public ground and Fischer Hall were often used for holiday, social and political events.
As the mill era passed, the population declined. Recently, the community has shown new vitality; buildings have been restored, a new town hall acquired, and new businesses opened.
Erected 1990 by Dane County Historical Society
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Wisconsin, Dane County Historical Society series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1846.
Location. 42° 55.749′ N, 89° 31.626′ W. Marker is in Paoli, Wisconsin, in Dane County. Marker is at the intersection of County Road PB and Paoli Road, on the left when traveling south on County Road PB. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1392 County Road PD, Belleville WI 53508, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Raphael's Frenchtown Cemetery (approx. 2.7 miles away); Lake Harriet School (approx. 3˝ miles away); Illinois Central Depot / Fitchburg (approx. 3.7 miles away); Dane County Home (approx. 4˝ miles away); Swan Pond (approx. 4.6 miles away); Early Belleville / Library Park (approx. 4.9 miles away); Pioneer Scottish Settlement (approx. 5.7 miles away); John Mann House (approx. 6.1 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Paoli’s Rich Past. Paoli Business & Professional Association website entry (Submitted on September 20, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin.)
2. Paoli History. Paoli Road Merchantile website entry (Submitted on January 8, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 10, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 14, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 1,034 times since then and 64 times this year. Last updated on September 18, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 16, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. 4, 5. submitted on October 17, 2010, by William J. Toman of Green Lake, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.