Potosi-Tennyson along the Great River Road where history and progress meet!
The villages of Potosi & Tennyson are located in southwest Wisconsin, situated on the Great River Road along the Mississippi River bordering Iowa and Illinois. Beautiful bluffs and hills, trees, wildlife, birds and the winding Mississippi, along with the mining history, add to the character and charm of the communities. Potosi was first named Snake Hollow and remained as such until 1839 when three towns: Lafayette, Van Buren, and Osceola consolidated. English miners, German and Irish settlers came to the area to mine the lead and iron ore in the area. This area was the largest settlement in western Wisconsin in the mid 1800’s. Potosi Brewery was built around this time, closed in 1972 and reopened in 2008 after extensive remodeling. Potosi is known for the World’s Longest Main Street, without an intersecting road, winding through the village.
Author Unknown-Gift of Walter and Erma David to the Village
Nearly a hundred and fifty years ago German immigrants, mainly from Bavaria, the Rhineland, Hanover and Wurttemberg, settled in this village to seek their livelihood from lead mining and tilling the soil. Among the first settlers in 1836 was Henry Kreizer who was a butcher and furnished beef to the miners.Most of these early immigrants found it difficult to speak English, so it was natural for them to group themselves according to nationality. It was thus that our village began in what the Germans called “Pleasant Valley”. After St Andrew’s parish was founded in 1846, it was often spoken of as “the German Settlement”. Later the British from British Hollow, hearing the word “Deutsch” ( German) , concluded that “Dutch Hollow” was a good name for the village even though the term never pleased the residents. In 1913 Father Pape called the villagers together and they voted upon the present name of “Tennyson” , after poet Lord Alfred Tennyson for our village.We mention these details to show the relationship of Tennyson today to Pleasant Valley of other years.
From the early 1900’s until the village’s incorporation on June 18th, 1940, the town’s people continued to grow and prosper. After its incorporation, village meetings were held in Leibfried’s Implement Shop across from Muller’s Garage during the summer, and the Alfred Muller residence during the winter.
The first village officers were Alfred Muller, Robert Muller, Ray Mofgan, J. F. Walsh, Hilda Haverland, Leonard Menne, Anicent Leibfried, and Nick Bierman.
On June 5th, 1953 the village purchased the school house on Bunker Hill from the Tennyson School District # 3 for $2,600.00 for its use as a town hall. Other notable improvements in community life came with the installation of a village water system in 1958, followed by a sewage system in 1962. It was quite fitting for the Bi-centennial year that the old town hall was razed and replaced by the present structure in 1976.