Ezra Goodrich, shown above in 1912, is sitting in front of the first house in which his family resided until the completion of the Milton House and Goodrich Block in the late 1840s. Two wood-frame buildings were constructed by Joseph Goodrich in 1839 and an existing cabin was moved from what became the Lima Center area to add additional space for the two wood-frame buildings. The unrestored cabin, which still stands, can be seen on the left side of the frame. The door directly behind Ezra is on display at the Milton House Museum.


This 1910 photo, taken as a postcard, shows the two original wood-frame buildings that stood behind the Milton House for more than 85 years before being razed in 1926. In the foreground is a well that served the inn with a windmill through the 1800s.

After Joseph Goodrich returned to the Du Lac Prairie with his family in March 1839, he was in need of room and shelter for his party of 13 while he planned and built his substantive lime gravel complex that would become his home, place of business and eventual National Historic Landmark.

A year earlier, Goodrich, James Pierce and Henry Beebe Crandall arrived on the prairie from upstate New York and staked a claim south of the Quaskeenon (Koshkonong) marshland at the intersection of Native American trails and militia roads still worn from the pursuit of Sac leader Black Hawk and his people six years prior. Before Goodrich returned to Alfred, New York to retrieve his family, he, Pierce and Crandall constructed a 16-by-20 wood frame structure to hold their claim and serve as shelter and a store.