City of Omro Historical Tour | "Strolling through Omro's Past"

"Strolling through Omro's Past"

In 1995, partly with Federal funds from the National Park Service, the U.S. Department of Interior, and assistance from the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, the Omro Area Historical Society developed "Strolling through Omro's Past" -- an historical marker walking / driving tour of 51 Omro historical properties. Wisconsin Historical Markers took this tour on September 22, 2014**. Sadly, more than half of the markers are missing and many more are illegible. In addition, several of the properties are in disrepair and content on a number of markers is no longer accurate.

Even with all the changes during the past 20 years, the "Strolling through Omro's Past" tour remains quite enjoyable. Omro is home to many fabulous buildings of various architectural styles, including several churches, the town hall, a woolen mill, an octagon house from the Civil War era, and a seven-story watch tower once used to monitor a silver fox farm and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2000, the Wisconsin Historical Society erected its own historical marker, "Historic Omro", at Omro's historic H.C. Scott Park. It is included in the tour.

Omro's downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has recently been designated a "Wisconsin Main Street Program" and plans are afoot to update the walking tour and markers.

Click here for a PDF copy of the 1995 list of 51 properties on the "Strolling through Omro's Past" tour and a transcription of their respective historical marker content. NOTE: Not all locations have historical markers; those without historical markers are generally not included in the places I visit and photograph. 
NOTE: This 1995 pamphlet does not match the numbers of the current locations.
NOTE: Not all locations have a historical marker; if there is not a historical marker, the location is not included here.

As an aside, Omro's pronounced "AHM-row" (pronounce wrong and it's a dead giveaway you're not from Wisconsin!).

** I returned to Omro in May 2015; several locations are updated, some from 2014 have been removed and others have been added. I plan to return in 2019 to see again what's new.

These are the locations I've visited to date:

No. 1
H.C. Scott Park (1911-24)
515 East Main Street

Marker 456: Historic Omro
515 East Main Street

No. 2
Omro Woolen Mill (1874-1875)
251 East Main Street

 No. 3
Anton Bang Meat Market (1927)
115 East Main Street

Albatross Historical Mural
115 East Main Street

No. 4
W.W. Race Building (1871)
109 East Main Street

No. 5
Nathaniel Frank Building (1881)
103 East Main Street

No. 6
The Fountain Inn Hotel (ca. 1900-1913)
101-103 West Main Street

No. 7
A.B. Larrabee Block (1894)
107 West Main Street

No. 8
I.O.O.F. Building (1894-1912)
113 West Main Street

No. 9
Root Brothers Building (1900)
123 West Main Street

 No. 10
George H. Barr Building (1948)
127 West Main Street

Paul L. Historical Mural
127 West Main Street

No. 11
Northwestern Hotel (ca. 1874)
207 West Main Street

No. 14
Club Omreau Lanes Building (1900/1950)
120 West Main Street

No. 15
Day & Phillips Building (ca. 1887-1892)
100 West Main Street

No. 16
Earle and McGuire Building (ca. 1895-1900)
100 East Main Street

No. 17
John T. Orchard Building
110 East Main Street

No. 18
Omro City Hall (1896)
144 East Main Street

No. 19
Omro Masonic Temple (1892)
160 East Main Street

No. 20
Omro Theater Building
205 South Webster Avenue

No. 25
First Presbyterian Church (1866-1867)
404 South Webster Street

No. 31
C.D. Bowman House (1895-1900)
629 Madison Avenue

No. 32
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church (1866)
233 East Scott Street

No. 44
St. Luke's German Lutheran Church (1910)
205 Adams Avenue

No. 49
Samson Challoner Octagon House
3880 E. 2nd Street
[there is no marker at this location]

No. 50
Omro Cemetery (1846)
2284 Waukau Road

No. 51
Cole's Watch Tower (ca. 1871)
7631 Wisconsin Highway 21
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
[there is no marker at this location]

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