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13 Ghost Towns In Wisconsin [MAP]

    ghost towns in Wisconsin

    If you’re searching for ghost towns in Wisconsin, we’ve got you covered! Below are 13 different ghost towns you can explore across the great state of Wisconsin along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.

    We rate ghost towns in Wisconsin based on their status. Here’s how our system works:

    • Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
    • Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
    • Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
    • Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
    • Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
    • Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.


    1. Ulao

    43.320497, -87.916563
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Historic Ulao was once a bustling port on Lake Michigan. The town was founded by an enterprising businessman in the mid-1800s, and it was built around the logging industry and Lake Michigan.

    In the mid-19th century, land surveyors laid out streets, and some were named for famous people such as Charles Guiteau, son of one of the town’s land surveyors. This former town was also the site of a saga, involving the assassination of President Garfield. The town was also home to Strangeite Mormons who fled from Voree, Wisconsin.

    What’s Left?

    Ulao is one of the most underrated ghost towns in Wisconsin, with numerous ruins, abandoned homes, and old restored structures to explore in the area.


    2. Sinnipee

    42.575475, -90.656944
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: Gratiot’s Grove – thevintagenew.com

    History:

    If you’re a history buff, you may be interested in visiting the Sinippee WI Historical Society Digital Library, located in a small town directly across the Mississippi from Dubuque, Iowa. Sinippee was important in the lead industry and was the site of a large stone hotel. This town was once the last stop for Zachary Taylor before he fled to the West.

    What’s Left?

    Today explorers can find overgrown ruins in the treelines and explore the cemetery which is still maintained by the locals.


    3. Pokerville

    43.023728, -89.843814
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

     Located near the Wisconsin River, this town was originally named after the first governor of Wisconsin. It was a thriving town during the 1890s, but it eventually was destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire, which burned down 1.28 million acres of land in Illinois and Wisconsin.

    What’s Left?

    The town is now part of Blue Mound State Park. Explorers can find some scattered ruins along the trails, with much of the town consumed by the surrounding forest.


    4. Dover

    43.162408, -89.838679
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Dover has a series of different names, hence being called Kansasville in the photo above. Over the years, Dover was a thriving lumber town but was ultimately abandoned when the city was bypassed by the new railroad in favor for the larger neighboring town of Mazomanie.

    What’s Left?

    Today, not much is left behind. There is the original cemetery along with a few abandoned homes in the area. Its an unincorporated area so people still live right off the Frank Lloyd highway.


    5. Helena

    43.146225, -90.045663
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    The earliest settlement in Helena was founded around 1830. It was located on the river near the railroad bridge and made it convenient to build rafts for the Black Hawk War. It was considered the Wisconsin Territorial Capital until it was abandoned during the Civil War

    In the late 1800s, Helena was an important mining center and was used for lead transportation. However, when the railroad bypassed Helena, the residents started moving away to newer and more developed areas. 

    What’s Left?

    Today, there are a few remnants of Helena. The shot tower is a remnant of the town’s early days. This is where lead shot was produced to transport miners. There are also numerous abandoned buildings and the old town cemetery, making Helena one of my favorite ghost towns in Wisconsin.


    6. Voree

    42.683103, -88.306675
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    This historic site is located near the town of Walworth and Spring Prairie in Racine County. The town is named after James Strang, a leader of the Latter-Day Saint movement. After the Prophet James Strang abandoned the area, the Strangite Church continued to maintain a presence in Voree.

    The group believed that the Plates contained an ancient record of the Vorito tribe. It became scripture for the church and was later accepted by Strangites. These followers of the Strangite religion still believe in the Plates and perform baptisms for the dead. Despite the church’s unpopularity, the town of Voree is a quaint example of the religious and spiritual culture of this time.

    What’s Left?

    While much of the town has been lost with time, explorers can still find remnants along the river and in the woodline.


    7. Delhi

    44.004444, -88.841667
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    Once upon a time, Delhi, Wisconsin, was a bustling little town on the Fox River between the towns of Omro and Eureka. Its founder, Luke LaBorde, had moved from Green Bay with supplies to set up a trading post along the river. He renamed the town LaBorde’s Landing and later rechristened it Delhi. In 1851, he relocated to a more remote area and moved his trading post there. In the 1880s, more people moved to nearby towns.

    What’s Left?

    The community was once a county seat contender, but as the railroad arrived, trade moved elsewhere. Many settlers fled to neighboring villages, including Omro and Eureka. However, their ghost town remains. In fact, there is a cemetery on the property. Luke La Borde and his wife, Louisa, are buried on this property. Today, Delhi is part of the town of Appleton. The remaining structures in Delhi are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


    8. Minersville

    46.407038, -90.796183
    Status: Abandoned

    Photo Credit: mspetersen – manyfoto.com

    History:

    One of the most popular ghost towns in Wisconsin is Minersville, located near Dodgeville in Iowa County. Minersville was founded in the 1840s, following the discovery of the Dodgeville mine. It served as the town’s railroad station and was eventually incorporated as a ghost town.

    What’s Left?

    Not much is left behind, however, explorers can check out the old rail line that is now abandoned and follow it to find more ruins and other artifacts from the town’s past.


    9. Kennedy

    45.910278, -90.6575
    Status: Abandoned

    History:

    The unincorporated community of Kennedy, Wisconsin is a ghost town that once thrived during the logging boom. During the last century, the town has gone from a bustling sawmill to an abandoned ghost town.

    What’s Left?

    Now, much of where Kennedy once stood is abandoned, or sparely occupied by a few locals who enjoy the solitude.


    10. Donaldson

    46.154521, -89.254754
    Status: Barren

    History:

    Donaldson, Wisconsin, was an important lumbering town until a devastating fire destroyed most of the town’s businesses. The town was eventually displaced, and residents fled to the nearby Land O’Lakestown.

    What’s Left?

    Even today, remnants of the railroad project are visible, as are the foundations of old buildings. While many ghost towns in Wisconsin are gone, a few remain.


    11. Kaiser

    45.909722, -90.551667
    Status: Barren

    History:

    Kaiser was officially deemed a town in 1901, but was a farming village some twenty years prior. Unlike many ghost towns in Wisconsin, Kaiser thrived from farming, thanks to the flat fertile plains of the area. The town had a one-room schoolhouse, church, sawmill, and of course much farmland.

    Mr. Kaiser envisioned a large subdivision and community that would be the terminus for the Omahad Railline. Unfortunately, this dream never materialized the town slowly dwindled into nothing.

    What’s Left?

    If you visit Kaiser Corner today nothing remains but some ruins and the road. It is however possible that some relics might be buried underground.


    12. Jefferson Prairie Settlement

    42.493667, -88.863267
    Status: Barren

    History:

    The Jefferson Prairie Settlement was first settled in 1838 as a small community of farmers and blacksmiths. The first settlers were of Norwegian desent, and were some of the first Norwegian immigrants to settle in the United States.

    What’s Left?

    Where the town once stood sits right on the Wisconsin and Illinois state line. Highway 76 runs straight through it, but with no structures still standing, you’d never know. The only real notable building left is the Jefferson Prairie Church.

    13. Fort Crawford

    43.043611, -91.146944
    Status: Historic

    History:

    The town was once a thriving mining community with over four thousand people. Sadly, the decline in mineral production wiped out this town and left it a ghost town. Many miners fled to California after the 1849 Gold Rush, as they believed they would make more money with gold than with zinc. In the 1970s, Neal and Hellum retired and donated the buildings to the Wisconsin Historical Society. In 2002, they opened the grounds of Pendarvis to the public for tours.

    What’s Left?

    Today, the town is a National Historic Landmark, and visitors can visit the buildings and explore the mine ruins.


    Go out and explore!

    That concludes our list of ghost towns in Wisconsin, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.

    If you’re having trouble finding ghost towns be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Finding Abandoned Places, or explore other ghost towns across the country.

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