John Hollenstein Sr. was born in 1840 in St. Gallen, Switzerland, where he learned the wagon maker’s trade. In 1868 he married Dominica Zuest and they came to the United States in 1869, settling in Woodland, Wisconsin. In 1873 they came to Mayville; the house was purchased in 1876. It was originally of frame construction but was later veneered with locally made cream brick. As the family grew, it became necessary to enlarge the home to the north. The Hollensteins had eight children; Jacob, Caroline, John Jr., Frances, Adolf, Alvina, Lena and George.
First Floor Layout
The six downstairs rooms of the home contain antique furnishings, clothing and pictures. In 1876, Hollenstein established a home on what is now the west portion of the museum property. The original house consisted only of the front four rooms downstairs and the area above them. The Kitchen and Laundry Room were added later. In 1888, the east portion of the property was purchased, and a small house on the lot was moved to the north.
Old agricultural tools and machinery are displayed in this area next to the house. The Farm Shop includes an Eli stationery hay press that was used to bale marsh hay. The hay was shipped to Milwaukee and used to keep beer cool at local breweries. Other items of interest in this display are an ensilage cutter and scale made in Mayville, as well as more tools and implements from the late 1800’s to the 1950’s