The last official Open House/tour date for the Water Tower tours is this Saturday, October 15th, from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This coincides with walking tours of Fort Atkinson, led by the Hoard Historical Museum, which begin at 8 am, run on the hour until the end of the market at noon, and should last roughly 30-40 minutes.

Hoard Museum to lead walking tours of Fort Atkinson

Join the Hoard Historical Museum as they host walking tours of downtown Fort Atkinson in conjunction with the downtown Saturday Farmer’s Markets. “This is a newer venture for the Museum,” said Merrilee Lee, museum director, “Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote Fort Atkinson and the area’s history but not all of our history can be enjoyed in our museum. So let’s go to where our history is and learn about it,” said Merrilee Lee, museum director.

Fort Atkinson is home to interesting examples of commercial and residential architecture.  There are also inspiring, heartwarming and occasionally tragic stories behind the people who built, lived, and worked in the buildings and homes. This walking tour will highlight the structures and people who helped build Fort Atkinson. Walking tours will explore the buildings and area around the downtown section of Fort Atkinson. All the walking tours will begin and end at the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Fort Atkinson. Participants should be prepared to walk approximately 1 mile over paved surfaces.  As an added bonus, participants may get their walking tour card stamped by Lee and then use that stamp to receive $2 off a purchase from the Fort Farmer’s Market, valid on the day of the tour. “Fort Atkinson is very fortunate to have a vibrant Farmer’s Market and the connection between the market and our history is important.  In fact, the market is the location of a very important spot in Fort’s history.  Come to a walking tour to find out more!” teased Lee.

There is no fee to take the tour, however donations to the Museum are always appreciated. The Hoard Historical Museum is able to provide these programs and tours at no cost to the public due to the on-going support of the Museum’s membership and Business Patrons. Join the Museum and help support programs such as this.  Membership is open to anyone; contact the Museum for more information.


Meeting Times

The Historic Preservation Commission meets on the 2nd Monday of the month, at 6:30 p.m. at the Dwight Foster Library.

The Fort Atkinson Preservation Commission is state-mandated commission, composed of five members appointed to five-year terms by the city manager with the City Council’s approval. The present commission’s authority is defined in Chapter 42, Fort Atkinson Municipal Ordinance Code:


Article I. In General
Sec. 42-1. Definitions.
Sec. 42-2. Penalties for violations of chapter.
Sec. 42-3. Historic structure, historic site and historic district designation criteria.
Secs. 42-4–42-35. Reserved.

Article II. Historic Preservation Commission
Sec. 42-36. Created; composition.
Sec. 42-37. Powers and duties.
Sec. 42-38. Procedures.
Sec. 42-39. Interim control.


It is hereby declared a matter of public policy that the protection, enhancement, perpetuation and use of improvements of special character or special historical interest or value is a public necessity and is required in the interest of health, prosperity, safety and welfare of the people. The purpose of this section is to:

  1. Effect and accomplish the protection, enhancement, and perpetuation of such improvements which represent or reflect elements of the City’s cultural, social, economic, political, engineering and architectural history.
  2. Safeguard the City’s historic and cultural heritage, as embodied and reflected in such historic structures, sites and objects.
  3. Stabilize and improve property values.
  4. Foster civic pride in the beauty and noble accomplishments of the past.
  5. Protect and enhance the City’s attractions to residents, tourists and visitors, and serve as a support and stimulus to business and industry.
  6. Strengthen the economy of the City.
  7. Promote the use of historic structures, sites and objects for the education, pleasure and welfare of the people of the City.

*Cross references: Buildings and building regulations, ch. 18; environment, ch. 30; planning, ch. 66; shoreland-wetland zoning, ch. 78.
State law references: Historic preservation generally, Wis. Stats. § 44.30.