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  • Writer's pictureCarly Marx

Unique History Behind The Abbey

Updated: Feb 26

Emmanuel Lorenz Philipp was born in the town of Sumpter on March 25, 1861. Mr. Philipp returned to his hometown roots in the Sauk Prairie in 1921 as a self-made millionaire and former Governor of Wisconsin, having served three consecutive terms from 1914 to 1921. This former farm boy from Sumpter returned to enjoy his retirement days in the place his heart called home…the place we now call The Abbey at Otter Creek.

Upon his return, Governor Phillipp purchased “Uncle Billy’s” farm, adding on to the original 1850’s farmhouse, in what is known as, “The Governor’s Mansion”. (More on Uncle Billy in our next post!). He lived there, mostly during the summer months, from 1920 until his death in 1925. The Governor’s Mansion is a stunning place featuring a large main room with original red oak floors, a beautiful wood beamed ceiling and cozy brick fireplace, along with an adjoining library. The upstairs is almost exactly like it was during Governor Philipp’s day with two large bedrooms, a connecting bathroom and spectacular views of the entire property. 

Fun Fact! 

Philipp’s Blvd in Sauk City was named after Governor Emmanual Lorenz Philipp. For all you spelling nerds out there - the street signs are actually misspelled, and read, “Philipps'' Blvd.

Bonus Fun Fact! At one time they believed this pond was ‘bottomless’ and thought to be connected underground to Devil’s Lake because the water levels rose and fell simultaneously with the big lake. As it turns out, the little pond was probably formed when a huge piece of ice broke off and settled in the location of the pond.

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