Vroman Family Farmstead
2387 S. Seminole Hwy, Fitchburg, WI
George Vroman born in New York in 1814 went to the Wisconsin territory in 1836. He was a carpenter and earned a living primarily in Madison. His younger brother Joseph, born in 1816, also came to Wisconsin in 1836 and settled in Madison after living in Potosi and La Fayette Co. WI. Land in what would become Fitchburg became available and on December 10, 1840 George bought 80 acres of land in section 20 in the Stoner Prairie region. This land would contain the present Vroman Farmstead.
Joseph moved to George’s land and lived in a log house. He married Mary Westrope December 17, 1840 and she became the first white woman to live in what would be Fitchburg. Even though land in this township had been bought by several individuals, there was only one settler that actually lived between them and Madison. Both George and Joseph bought additional land in 1843 in sections 17 and 20. This was the year George built the first framed barn in Fitchburg for Joseph. Joseph bought additional land in 1848 and 1849 and at some point, either exchanged or bought the current Vroman Farmstead land from George. In 1855 Joseph had a home built with a Greek revival architecture. An addition was added in 1864 and at a later time a building that had served as a cream separator room was attached to the house. Between 1935 and 1955 several buildings were built on the property which are still standing.
Joseph Vroman ran a successful farm and was well liked, being elected the first Town Chair in 1847 when Fitchburg was called Greenfield. Joseph died on December 15, 1869 and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, WI. The 1873 plat map shows the Joseph Vroman property was in an estate. Like other women living on farms, Mary Vroman, born October 9, 1821, contributed to the needs of the farm besides raising five children. She would remain on the farm until her death on July 27, 1905 and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Madison, WI.
By 1890 and probably closer to 1873, Hiram Vroman, the middle son of Joseph and Mary, born January 18, 1847, owned the Vroman land in sections 17 and 20. His two brothers had moved to Nebraska. Hiram was well educated in district schools, an academy and the University of Wisconsin. Like his father, Hiram was elected Town Chair of Fitchburg for four separate one year terms and then for 3 years from 1909 to 1912. He died December 21, 1937 and was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery in Madison, WI.
By 1947 and probably not long after Hiram’s death, Hiram’s oldest son Joseph A. owned the Vroman farm. In 1955 the Vroman farm was owned by Hiram’s sons Joseph A and Harry E Vroman. In, 2003 the land was owned by Gordon Vroman and in 2020, the owner of the land was Gordon’s son Lloyd Vroman. Wisconsin, like 41 other states, has a program to recognize farms owned by a family for 100 (Centennial) and 150 (sesquicentennial) years. As of 2019, there are over 800 sesquicentennial farms in Wisconsin with two of these farms, Vroman and Kinney, in Fitchburg.