Mystery Place: Rustic Realm owner diversifies business

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Ginny Hall | September 15, 2017

Rustic Realm is at the intersection of Wisconsin Highway 11, County Highway F and Briggs Road. The Bears Paw barn quilt painted by Jackie Thelen hangs on the building.

Herb Twist put up this building in 1989 on land purchased from Dean Kincaid. At first, the business was farm machinery, but it changed to rustic decor furnishings in 1993. 

The plat map and plat books from 1857 through 1891 show the owner of the property as Wm. Hollingshead. The 1900 plat book indicates that Hollingshead's son-in-law, H. Briggs, was the owner. This ownership changed to Mrs. H.A. Briggs in 1907. 

Hollingshead served as president of the Walworth County Agricultural Society from 1863 through 1865. Herman A. Briggs was president of that group in 1891 and served as president of the Old Settlers Society in 1892. He was chairman of the town of Delavan supervisors from 1903 through 1905. 

After Briggs retired from farming and retired to Delavan, he represented the First Ward on the county board from 1907-'08. He sold his farm and his beloved horses in 1910. 

In earlier years, when he lived in the town of Sugar Creek, he was an associate town supervisor in 1879. He married his cousin,  Elizabeth H. Hollingshead, on April 23, 1880. 

The 1930 plat book has Frank Johnson as owner — the Prairie Farmer's Reliable Directory of Farmers and Breeders indicates he was the son of Ida and John Johnson, who managed a farm owned by Chester Phillips in Section 20 in the town of Delavan.

The 1977 plat book shows Dean Kincaid Inc. as the owner before the land was sold to Twist.

Ginny Hall, a Delavan historian, is author of the “Walking around ...” and “Meandering ... ” books, which highlight the history of Walworth County communities.


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