Maple Harris Guest House

445 West Maple, Lancaster, Wisconsin 53813
Innkeeper(s): Kathy Nelson
  • Introduction

    The Maple Harris Guest House in Lancaster, Wisconsin, welcomes you through the huge front door into our version of hospitality. Maple Harris is of the Queen Anne style, built in 1893 by a well-known area family. Each room is uniquely different for a pleasing comfortable blend of old and new. We are located in Lancaster, Wisconsin - "City of the Dome". The unique octagonal, glass and copper dome of the Grant County Courthouse is the dominating feature in the city. Lancaster has several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places and a museum devoted to the regions of rich history. Our small city is surrounded by beautiful wooded hills, fertile agricultural valleys, and meandering creeks and rivers. We are in close proximity to a number of visitor attractions in Southwest Wisconsin.

  • Community History

    Lancaster is the county seat of Grant County and in 2000 had a population of 4070. Grant County comprises the extreme southwest corner of the state of Wisconsin and the Mississippi River forms the county’s western edge. The discovery of lead in this region in the early years of the nineteenth century resulted in its being one of the earliest places where settlement occurred in the state and the places where these settlers congregated are thus among the earliest communities in Wisconsin. Lancaster owes its existence to its position near the geographical center of the county. In 1836, Grant County was created by the first Wisconsin territorial legislature and a competition then ensued to locate the new county’s seat. The winner proved to be a site promoted by land speculator Major Glendower Morgan Price, who proposed a forty-seven-block plat located near the center of the county. This plat had streets aligned on a north-south, east-west grid and it also had a block specifically dedicated to the “public” located at its center. In 1837, Price’s proposal won out over two other speculative town sites and several established communities located elsewhere in the county, thanks partly to its central location and thanks also to Price’s donation to the county of the public square shown on his plat for a courthouse site and his further donation of $1000.00 for its construction.

    A few historical facts:

    • Lancaster is home to the first publicly conceived Civil War monument, which was dedicated in 1867
    • Wisconsin’s first Governor, Nelson Dewey, was from Lancaster and is buried here
    • The Patrick Kinney House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is in Lancaster
    • Dave Schreiner from Lancaster was the first All American from the University of Wisconsin
    • Pleasant Ridge, just outside the city limits, was first settled by freed slaves and established one of the first integrated schools in the nation
  • Historical Sites

    Lancaster has a variety of locations to visit for people of all ages!

    Grant County Courthouse

    Built in 1902, is an historic copper-domed county courthouse building located at 126 West Main Street in Lancaster, Wisconsin. Designed by Armand D. Koch in the Classical Revival style, it was built of red sandstone.[1] On October 19, 1978, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

    Paterned after St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Grant County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside visitors will find G.A.R. and Civil War . The Courthouse is located on a unique square in downtown Lancaster, the site of the first Civil War monument in the United States.ouse is located on a unique square in downtown Lancaster, the site of the first Civil War monument in the United States.

    Blue Boy

    The “Blue Boy” Civil War statue on the courthouse square in Lancaster is one of only two like it in the nation. The statue has a fountain attached, which was put there in 1906 by the Women’s Relief Corps, but the statue might need some restoration if it is going to make it another 104 years, local residents said.

    Nelson Dewey Statue

    Nelson Dewey was the first Governor of the State of Wisconsin.  This statue is located at the Grant County Courthouse, two blocks from the cemetery and historical marker.

    Nelson Dewey Marker and Burial Site

    Nelson Dewey was the first Governor of the State of Wisconsin. His grave is located in the Episcopal Cemetery in Lancaster, WI.  The cemetery is located on Jefferson St approximately 1-2 blocks off the Square.








    Lancaster City Hall

    Located at 206 S. Madison St in Lancaster, WI, Lancaster City hall was built in 1922, another historic landmark in Lancaster, Wisconsin is City Hall, which includes a fabulous movie theater. This striking building designed by renowned architects Claude & Starck is an excellent example of prairie-style architecture.

    The First Civil War Monument

    Popular subscription for this Civil War monument was started on September 16, 1862 and completed with public funds. The monument was dedicated on July 4, 1867 “and to the memory of the brave soldiers of Grant County who fell in defense of universal liberty in the great rebellion of A.D. 1861.

    Cunningham Museum

    Browse through artifacts of the Civil War, World Wars and Grant County’s early black and Indian settlements at the Cunningham Museum.