In the early 19th century Wisconsin lead mining was more promising and attractive to potential settlers than the fur trade. Hundreds of immigrants poured into southwestern part of the state.
Mineral Point became a thriving commercial center that housed one of Michigan Territory’s first land offices and served as a territorial county seat. The boom continued into early Wisconsin statehood, when lead and zinc mining and processing became the dominant mining activity.
Almost a hundred years later, Robert Neal and Edgar Hellum found Mineral Point’s history and heritage teetering on the brink of oblivion. Neal had just returned from London to find many of the stone cottages, built by the early 19th-century Cornish immigrants, had vanished. He struck up a friendship with Hellum who shared his interest in the old rock dwellings. Together as life and business partners, Neal and Hellum decided to preserve at least one of these tangible symbols of Mineral Point’s past.
Learn more about the two men who made Pendarvis House the beautiful historic site it is today!