Original Somers Town Hall now located at Hawthorn Hollow, Somers, Kenosha County
©2013 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  All Rights Reserved.

Historical marker for the Original Somers Town Hall located at Hawthorn Hollow, Somers, Kenosha County
©2013 Jacqueline Klapproth Nelson.  All Rights Reserved.


The original 1857 Somers Town Hall is located on the grounds of Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary & Arboretum, on Highway 31 (Green Bay Road) between Highways A and JR just west of Petrifying Springs Park.  Self-guided tours are available.  Contact Hawthorn Hollow for information regarding hours, tour times, events, etc.


Meticulously preserved and renovated, the original Somers Town Hall building has been placed in a prairie-like setting.  Visitors can step inside the town hall and enjoy seeing the old voting booths and imagine the hundreds of government meetings held in this historic building.


For 16 years, prior to 1859 when a real town hall was built, the Charles Leet home (formerly located on Highway 31 and Highway JR) was the site for all town meetings, the first recorded May 1, 1843.

The Leet’s home was a stage stop and inn and a stop over point for travelers bound for Milwaukee and Green Bay.  The house was a natural meeting point for the town board.

At the annual meeting of April 7, 1857 a total of 157 residents showed up to vote on building a “Town House”.  A committee was named to view the land and report upon the size of the lot and the estimate of cost.  Much discussion occurred on the Town House but no action was taken until April, 1858 when a building committee was established.

Resolved  That we raise the sum of 800 dollars for the purpose of procuring or building a Town House.

Resolved  That the location be at or near Leets’ corner provided a location can be obtained free of cost.

Resolved  That the Supervisor be the Chairman of the Building Committee.

The Supervisors carried out the mandate given them by the voters at the April 1858 meeting.  At a June meeting, the contract for building the Town House was awarded to Mr. Lute (Lucien) Carpenter, his bid being the lowest at the sum of seven hundred and forty (740) dollars.

Resolved  That the Chairman, E.R. Hugunin enter into a contract pursuant to the award and specifications thereupon agreed to.

Next there was a meeting called to vote on the location of the Town Hall.

On a count of an informal ballot:

Chas Leet’s corner received 18 votes

William Smith’s corner received 41 votes

Alexander Yule’s corner received 14 votes

On a count of a formal ballot:

Charles Leet’s corner received 23 votes

William Smith’s corner received 58 votes

On motion, the vote was unanimous that the location of the Town Hall be at the William Smith corner which is located on the southeast corner of the Green Bay Trail and the present Highway E, just west of the Oakwood Cemetery.

In 1857 William Smith had offered to sell this half-acre site for $25.00, but apparently he finally donated it in 1858 because the records contain no mention of payment.  Years earlier he donated the land for Oakwood Cemetery.

The new Town Hall was ready for use at the next Town meeting. The meeting was called to order at Charles Leet’s store after which, before an transaction of business occurred, a motion was made to adjourn and meet at the new Town Hall.  The 196 persons present at this meeting left Charles Leet’s store and streamed down the road a half mile south, some driving horses and buggies, some on horseback, and many on foot.  It was the largest crowd at a Town meeting in 25 years, from 1850 to 1875.

The new Town Hall building began its official use which continued for 108 years until the final session on September 11, 1967.