By George Fielder
In 1827, almost overnight, the lead-bearing region of southwestern Wisconsin was flooded by English-speaking miners and settlers who founded the settlement of Mineral Point. Originally known as Shake Rag Under the Hill, it quickly became the booming capital of the mining area. In a few years’ time the outpost’s fame had spread throughout the upper Mississippi Valley, bringing English miners emigrating from Cornwall to set their stamp forever on the architecture and the social life of Mineral Point. Eventually lead mining gave way to zinc, and Mineral Point was surpassed in size and importance by other Wisconsin towns; but the charm of its hills and the grace of its houses remained, a historical legacy from the settlers of territorial Wisconsin.
This is the story of Mineral Point from its origins to the mid-twentieth century, when a rekindled interest in the area’s storied past began with the restoration of Pendarvis House.