Exploring The Cheyenne Valley Heritage Area
- Start - State Historic Marker
- Start the tour at the State Historic Marker located in the south-west corner of the City of Hillsboro on the north side of Hwy 80 at the intersection with Elm Ave.
- Site 1 - Barton's Corners/Forest (Burr-Salem) Cemetery
- Follow Elm Ave. north to the junction with Hwy 33, turn left and drive west on Hwy 33 about 6 miles to the intersection with Hwy V to Site 1.
Barton's Corners is at the intersection of Hwy 33 and Hwy V.
The Forest (Burr-Salem) Cemetery is located west of the intersection on the south side of Hwy 33.
Wesley Barton, born in Alton, Illinois in 1818, was one of the first black pioneers to settle in the area, arriving in August of 1855.
Barton homesteaded on this site that included 100 acres.
None of Barton's original buildings remain today.
Forest (Burr-Salem) Cemetery was an inter-racial burying ground from the beginning and may be the largest of the area's mixed race cemeteries.
Families represented here include Bass, Arms, Waldon (Waldron, Walden), Revels, Winchell, Roberts and Shivers.
Alga and Flora Shivers are buried here.
- Site 2 - Forest Town Hall
- From the Burr-Salem Cemetery drive west on Hwy 33 about 2 miles to Town Hall Road.
Turn right off Hwy 33 on to Town Hall Road and proceed north-east about 1/2 mile to the Forest Town Hall located on the right side of the Road.
Driving down into the valley heading west on Hwy 33 you enter the area settled in the 1850's by a mixed race pioneer Macajah Revels.
This valley was populated by dozens of Revels' descendants through the early 20th Century.
The Revels Cemetery is located on an abandoned town road about 1/4 mile south of Hwy 33.
Although this valley is now known as Cheyenne, earlier it was also referred to as Revels' Valley.
The great majority of African-American immigrants who arrived in Vernon County in the last half of the 1800's settled in the 36 square mile Town of Forest.
The Forest Town Hall is located about 1/4 mile south-west of the foundation of the original Cheyenne School.
Many of the children who attended school there were multi-racial.
This valley has long been known as Cheyenne, although the origin of the name is unclear.
- Site 3 - Harris Round Barn
- Return to Hwy 33 on Town Hall Road and turn right.
Drive about 1/2 mile on Hwy 33 to Harris Road (gravel) and turn right.
Follow Harris Road about 1 1/2 miles to a set of farm buildings on the left (north) side of the road.
You will see the round barn close to the road just past the driveway to the house.
The Harris family settled on this homestead after the Civil War, moving here from Virginia.
This barn was built for George Harris by Algie Shivers in 1906.
All the timbers, cut lumber and stone came from this farm.
(All of the round barns on the tour are located on private property. Please respect the privacy of the owners!)
- Sites 4 through 6 are on the ROUND BARN LOOP which adds about 10 miles to the tour.
If you wish to tour the around barn loop continue along Harris Road to Site 4 or return to Hwy 33 and proceed to Site 7.
- Site 4 - Fairview School/Cemetery
- Continue on Harris Road about 1 1/2 miles up the ridge until Harris Road intersects with Hwy F and site 4.
At this crossroads was located the Fairview Methodist Church which burned in the 1940's.
The abandoned and overgrown Fairview School can be just seen on the north-west corner of the intersection.
Just north of the school site is the Fairview Cemetery which contains the graves of several members of the Roberts family, who were one of the multi-racial families that lived in the Fairview neighborhood.
- Site 5 - Stoddard Round Barn
- From the intersection with Hwy F follow the town road that is now 24th Court about 2 miles down the valley to the Stoddard Round barn which is located on the left side of the road just before the intersection with Hwy Z.
This round barn has been modernized and continues to function as a dairy barn.
The builder and date of construction is unknown although it is built in the style that Algie Shivers and his crew employed.
This farm is located just north of the Vernon-Monroe County line.
- Site 6 - DeWitt Round Barn
- Follow 24th Court north to the intersection with Hwy Z and turn left.
Drive south-west on Hwy Z about 1 1/2 miles to a round barn that can be seen about 1/4 mile down a private drive on the right side of Hwy Z.
This round barn is reported to have been built by John DeWitt and his son Ernest in 1912.
This barn has some stylistic differences from barns built by the Shivers; especially the exterior silo.
Follow Hwy Z south about 3/4 mile to the intersection with Hwy ZZ.
Continue left on Hwy Z and go 1/2 mile past Cemetery Road to the intersection with Hwy F.
(This is a sharp turn to the right onto a gravel road and is not clearly marked).
Turn right on to Hwy F and drive about 2 1/2 miles through the south-east corner of Wildcat Mt.
State Park to the intersection with Hwy 33.
As you drive along Hwy F about 1 and 1/2 miles past the intersection with Hwy ZZ, you will pass a gravel road on the left side that is now closed to traffic.
This road formerly led to several farms; two of these had round barns built by Algie Shivers.
The barns were torn down when the property was acquired by the State of Wisconsin for Wild Cat Mountain State Park.
- Site 7 - Cheyenne Road Loop
- At the intersection of Hwy F and Hwy 33, turn left and proceed east about 2 miles to the intersection with Cheyenne Road, a gravel town road.
Turn right on Cheyenne Road and drive about 1/2 mile to the farm with buildings located on both sides of the road.
The farm on Cheyenne Road belongs to Don Williams.
His ancestor Jesse Irwin, in 1895 deeded land just east of his home to his mixed race neighbors for a church.
The Revels Valley Free Methodist church was attended by both white and multi-racial worshippers from about 1890 through the 1940's.
At the Williams Farm, looking up the valley to the north is a vacant wood frame building that was the Revels/Roberts homestead.
About 1/2 mile East of the Williams farm, a grove of trees on the left had side of the road marks a stone foundation.
It is all that remains of the church.
Drive east along Cheyenne Road to the intersection with Hwy 33 and Bugbee Hollow Road.
Near this intersection is the site of the log cabin home of Samuel Arms, who as a young man escaped from slavery in Georgia and joined the Union Army as a drummer.
After the Civil War he claimed a 160 acre homestead and established a family that became a significant part of the multi-racial valley community.
- Site 8 - Salem School
- At the intersection of Cheyenne Road and Hwy 33, turn left and travel about 1 1/2 miles west on Hwy 33 to Scenic Road.
Turn left and follow Scenic Drive 1 1/4 miles to the junction with Burr-Salem Road.
Turn left and drive less than 1/2 mile on Burr Salem Road to the site of Salem School, site 8.
(Past Scratch Ave.
to the left just before the red out building, you will find the location of the concrete foundation).
The original Salem School was established in the mid 19th Century and served the community until 1925 when a new brick school was built.
The "new" Salem School was closed in 1957 and later torn down.
Salem School was one of at least 3 multi-racial rural schools in the Cheyenne Valley area.
- Site 9 - Eastman School
- From the Salem School site continue east about more than 2 miles to Eastman Drive.
Turn right and drive down the valley about 1 1/2 miles to the former Eastman School (vacant and dilapidated) located on the left side of Eastman Drive.
(This building is on private property)
As you drive down the ridge you will pass the sites of the original homesteads of Elijah and William Bass, two founding members of the multi-racial community.
The Eastman School was attended by members of the Bass and Arms family for many years.
Because of the historic significance of this school in the multi=racial community, the State Historical Society of Wisconsin acquired this building in the mid 1970's wit the intention of relocating it to Old World Wisconsin.
- Site 10 - Warner Creek Round Barn
- Continue south on Eastman Drive to the intersection with Hwy p/ Turn left on to Hwy P and drive west about 1 mile to the intersection with Fish Hollow Road.
Turn left on Fish Hollow Road and proceed slowly to the second driveway (dirt) to the right.
The Warner Creek Round Barn is located less than 1/4 mile up the driveway.
As you drive along Hwy P about 1/2 mile from the intersection with Eastman Drive you will see a narrow driveway that leads north to a building site obscured from view.
This is the homestead of pioneer black settler William A.
Bass, and later was the home of Blanche Bass Arms and Otis Arms.
Cecil Arms now hosts an annual Arms Family Reunion on this site.
The Warner Creek Round Barn was Built in 1911 by Algie Shivers and his crew for Adam Mayenschein.
- Site 11 - Tom/Alga Shivers Farm
- Return to Hwy P from Fish Hollow Road and turn left.
Follow Hwy P about 1 mile to the site of the Shivers Farm.
(You will see a large white pine tree with a broken top near a overgrown wooded site on the right side of the road.)
The original homestead on this farm was settled in 1879 by Thomas Shivers, a former slave from Tennessee, Shivers prospered in the valley and by the turn of the century this farm had grown to nearly 3000 acres.
Thomas was one of the most progressive and innovative farmers in the area.
How owned one of the first tractors in the community and had electricity and running water in his home well before most of his neighbors.
His equally gifted son Algie built one of his first round barns for his father.
The farm was sold in 1980 after belonging to the Shivers family for over 100 years.
The home, round barn and all of the outbuildings were burned soon after the sale.
- From the Shivers farm site continue east on Hwy P about 1 1/2 miles to the intersection with Hwy 82.
Near this intersection once thrived the community of Dilly - settled by Bohemian immigrants from Czechoslovakia.
Turn left on to Hwy 82 and drive east about 2 1/2 miles to the intersection with Hwy 33.
Turn right on Hwy 33 and drive about 2 1/2 miles back to Hillsboro and the end of the tour.
Total distance with Round Barn Loop about 40 miles.
Total distance without Round Barn Loop about 30 miles
Thanks For Exploring The Cheyenne Valley Heritage Area