The Ceresco area
On the west end of Ripon, including the Long House on Warren Street, lies what is called the Ceresco area. On May 27, 1844, the first settlers of the Ripon area reached their destination. In a valley located between two hills, these settlers who were members of the Wisconsin Phalanx, founded a community. They called it Ceresco after the Roman goddess of the harvest, they constructed several commonly-owned dwellings called Long Houses, one of which still stands on its original site. In 1851 the villages of Ceresco and Ripon consolidated and incorperated as the city of Ripon in 1858. The Octagon House Located on the corner of Liberty and Locust Streets. It was built in 1867 and remodeled in the early 20th
century an addition was constructed at this time. The home is privately owned by a family whose relatives
purchased the home early in the 1900s.
The Pickard-Lawson Homes (Ripon Historical Society) Located on Watson Street and Ransom Street, the The Pickard House and the Lawson House hold some of the oldest pieces in the Historical Society's collection. The Lawson House is arranged with furnishings that are representative of the 1860s period. The Pickard House is the headquarters of the Society. In between the two buildings a period barn, holding more artifacts, and transporation articles are on display. Many of these artifacts are associated with the founders of Ripon.
This historic building, is the Birthplace of the Republican Party. 2013 marks the 159th anniversary of the historic meeting that took place on March 20, 1854. This was the first grass roots meeting during which members of three existing political parties locally met to form a new party called "Republican" and ignited a national movement. Visitors will also learn about the founding of Ripon and what school was like for children in the 1850's. The Schoolhouse offers a prairie educational experience in which elementary grade students participate in an 1850's school simulation. The simulation is available by prior arrangement only.
The Ripon College Historical District Includes 10 campus buildings and the First Congregational Church of Ripon, at 220 Ransom Street. Ripon College, founded in 1851, was converted from a college preparatory school to a four-year college in 1863. Today, Riponís campus encompasses 250 acres and includes 25 buildings. The original three limestone buildings which witnessed the commencement of 1867 remain in use: East, Smith and West Halls. These, along with seven other campus buildings, were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.