Contact: Kara O’Keeffe
Sheboygan, Wis. – The Wisconsin Historical Society placed the Badger State Tanning Company building in Sheboygan, Sheboygan County on the State Register of Historic Places on May 18, 2018.
The Badger State Tanning Company, constructed in 1920 with minor additions in 1926, 1951, and 1956 was a major leather manufacturer in Sheboygan and a prominent center of leather production in Wisconsin. By the 1930s, the Badger State Tanning Company was not only the last and longest-operating tannery in Sheboygan, it was also a thriving enterprise, with over 700 workers and daily hide production rate approaching that of the giant Milwaukee tanneries Pfister & Vogel Leather Company and Alfred Trostel & Sons.
During the post-World War II period, the company was the largest employer in Sheboygan and by incorporating new technologies and tanning innovations became one of the largest manufacturers of high-grade leather in the country. The history of this company spans the early era of small independent tanneries and the transition to large corporate tanning operations that eventually took over the industry.
The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.
To learn more about the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.