In 1974, a group called "Luke Stoughton Society" formed. Their mission was to save the Luke Stoughton pioneer home from being razed. The home was built around 1848 and was originally located at 130 East Main Street. In 1875 it was moved to the North West corner of Forrest and Jefferson and in 1974 the house was then moved to it's current location at 315 North Division Street. The Luke Stoughton Society rented the home for twenty years before the City of Stoughton gave the house to the Stoughton Historical Society in 2000.
Luke and Eliza's third daughter, Sarah Ellen, married a local boy, Orren Turner, and they remained in Stoughton. The two had five children: Mary, Luke, Gilles, Roy and Paul. In early August 2007, we received word from the children of Orren M. Turner II of his passing and that he had named the Society in his will, as beneficiaries of a matching gift. Orren, known by his friends as Mac, was the great grandson of Luke and Eliza Stoughton and a great friend of the Stoughton Historical Society. During his life he supported our efforts to renovate the pioneer home of his ancestor. Mac passed away October 8, 2006 and his will stated that his estate would match our fundraising efforts for one year after his passing, up to $100,000.00.
We are pleased to report that we surpassed this fundraising goal thanks to the generous donations of the Stoughton community and the Stoughton School District's decision to deed to the Society the land on which the Luke Stoughton House currently sits. We are immensely grateful to all of our donors! A plaque located in the Museum vestibule recognizes the donors of this special fund drive.
Renovations began almost immediately and we have made great progress in structural stabilization, basement repairs, plumbing and electrical systems, installing new windows, insulation and flooring. We are very proud and want to send a special thank you to the Turner family, Dane County, Bryant Foundation, Stoughton Residents, M.A.T.C. and our many volunteers!!
Luke Stoughton House today, Division Street: