Lime Ridge

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The village of Lime Ridge is located on the dividing line between the NE section of Washington Township and the SE section of Ironton Township at the junction of County Highways S & G. It is named after a ridge of limestone which runs west of the village.

Early settlers from the East found the land around what was to become the village of Lime Ridge, to be covered with hardwood trees, and the forests filled with deer, bear, wolves and lynx. Native Americans also camped and hunted in the surrounding woods. The pioneers also found clear springs flowing from rock outcroppings and realized the land beneath the wooded forests was rich and suitable for farming.

Those first pioneers came by covered wagon pulled by oxen, from Madison and Milwaukee, the terminus of railroad lines from the East. They cleared the land of timber – initially burning the valuable logs – and began planting crops. Other settlers realized the value of the hardwood trees, built sawmills and began harvesting them for sale as stave bolts and railroad ties.

In 1858, Charles Cushman was looking to establish a postoffice in the vicinity and located it in his log cabin atop the ridge which he owned. The mail was kept in a drawer in a small table in the cabin. Settlers picked up their own mail, and also delivered their neighbor’s mail on the way home. A year later, the postoffice and village were moved a mile east of the original site.

In 1867 a 16' x 26' store was erected by Wesley Marsh, joining 3 other buildings in the general vicinity. The store was sold to John T. Pollock a few years later, and in 1876, Pollock sold out to Robert L. Bohn for $100, which he had earned working at the sawmill. Bohn stocked the store with groceries and dry goods purchased in Chicago.

The Bohn family came to the village from Ohio, and built a dam and sawmill. Farmers were eager to sell the hardwood timber logged from farmland, and Bohn fashioned it into barrel staves, which he shipped to larger cities.

Bohn began buying land around the village and constructed a meeting hall used by local lodges and the Ironton Township. He also built a hotel, and in 1909 Bohn founded the State Bank of Lime Ridge. The small village also sported a blacksmith shop, hardware store, millinery shop, several saloons and two cheese factories.

In 1922 the Bohn Company built a new brick building, 50' x 56', selling general merchandise to a population of 200 residents.

The Great Depression of the 1930's wreaked havoc on the Bohn enterprises – the bank closed and the store and hotel business declined rapidly thereafter.

W.H. Gerlach, along with his partner, Mr. Erickson, purchased a vacant brick building on the corner of Bohn & Maple streets in 1919, and opened a general hardware and farm equipment store.

Early settlers also brought their faith with them and in 1874, the United Brethren built a house of worship in the village, which also served the Baptists and Methodists. An Adventist church served worshipers in 1890. The Trinity Lutheran church was built in 1906 as more German immigrants entered Sauk County.

Lime Ridge was incorporated in 1913. The wooden sidewalks were replaced with concrete in 1915, and electricity came to the village in 1922.