Janesville50.7°

Irish heritage showcased in choice of quilt pattern

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Ginny Hall
May 3, 2013

A photo of this Mystery Place is HERE

You can enjoy seeing the “Irish Chain” barn quilt on the Mitten Farm at W2452 County Highway J in the town of East Troy. The barn is on the south side of the road; the house is across the road.

When I earlier visited the East Troy Historical Society and Museum, I found some good information about this farm. According to a paper in their files, the owner in 1843 was Isaac Drake and the next one was John Kerrigan. However, the 1857 plat map shows the owner of this property as H. Kellogg. This is not surprising. At the time of the early land sales there were speculators who bought up large tracts of land and then resold the acreage to others at a higher price.

In spite of this early difference, this farm is a sesquicentennial farm. Kerrigan came with his wife and daughter, Ellen, from Syracuse, N.Y., in 1861. He had originally come from Ireland. Ellen attended the Troy Lakes School just east of their farm. In 1868, Ellen married Thomas Foley. Foley died in 1879 when a tree he was chopping down fell on him.

In 1881, Ellen Kerrigan Foley married Lawrence Mitten. Mitten had come from County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1850. He and Ellen had six children: John, Joseph, Julia, Marie, Esther and Walter. They all attended the Troy Lakes School.

In 1926, Walter married Clara Kerstein. They had two children -- Lawrence and Sue Ann. The 1930 plat book shows Walter as the owner of this property. Lawrence is the Larry mentioned in the recent article on the Troy Lakes School House.

The 1970 plat book shows the owner as Lawrence Mitten. That owner continues through to the present day.

If you drive past this farmstead, you can see by the name and the 1861 date on the side of the barn, that the owner is proud to have had the property in the family for many years.



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