Historic Indian Agency HousePortage, Wisconsin
Historic Indian Agency House
Jennifer Blau, Executive Director
The Historic Indian Agency House (now museum) was built by the U.S. government for John Kinzie in 1832. Kinzie was the Indian Agent to the Ho-Chunk Nation (Winnebago), and he and his wife, Juliette Magill Kinzie, lived at the portage from 1832-1834. Juliette Kinzie would later write of the young couple’s experiences at the portage in her book, Wau-Bun, the “Early Day” in the Northwest.
The Historic Indian Agency House stands on its original spot at the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers in South central Wisconsin. This portage was a crucial link between the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence and Mississippi River watersheds.
The Federal-style house is one of the oldest in Wisconsin and has been outfitted with furnishings and household artifacts appropriate to the period.
The Historic Indian Agency House was restored by The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Wisconsin in 1932 and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, and has been recently nominated to become a Historic Landmark.
In 2018, our museum will be promoting 200 years of quilting in Wisconsin. Each month, we will have new exhibits, programs, and workshops, all related to quilting. Watch our Facebook Page for most up to date event info, along with our website.
Along with our amazing 1830’s house museum, we are growing our apple orchard for educational purposes, we have a beautiful Rotary Garden, 215 acres with walking trails, a period correct “chipoteke”, HoChunk dwelling, and we have rotating exhibits. We also have a Gift Shop with many books locally written about our time period. In the 2018 season, we will feature many programs and workshops on quilting and fiber art. Two reenactments are planned, along with a GARLIC FEST on Sept 22nd from 10-3pm!
We participate in many local events – wine walks, festivals, living windows, parades, and the annual Taste of Portage. We also have our own festival in September, the 3rd Annual Garlic Festival, featuring many locally made garlic products, samplings, and artists.