The Longborne House Property — The New Home of the Institute

I’ve been teasing this news on the blog and podcast for weeks, but I can now announce that the Low Technology Institute now has a permanent location to conduct research and host workshops and events! Scott and Lauren (the director of the institute and his significant other) have offered the institute the use of the grounds of the Longborne House. The grounds will contain extensive gardens, chickens, bees, and an orchard. Workshops will be held in the garage until a work space can be built in the rear of the lot.

The Longborne House and Historic Cooksville

NRHP Sign.

The Longborne House is located in the historic village of Cooksville, Wisconsin. The house and the village are on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The NRHP is the “the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation” (from the NRHP website). It was built in 1855 and I’ll do a post or two about the house and village’s history here before long.

Houses and communities from the preindustrial era were built and survived without the use of fossil fuels and therefore this location is a good fit for the research we will be doing in the coming years.

The history and current doings of Cooksville is chronicled by Larry Reed at his website: Cooksville News. You can find photos of the entire district and the full NRHP report of the district at the NRHP website.

The Grounds

The yard is three-quarters of an acre with plenty of space for gardens, bees, and chickens. As it is in a village, we’ll have to form relationships with our neighbors. Luckily eccentricities such as chickens, bees, and orchards are overcome with gifts of eggs, honey, and fruit!

We also have to contend with preexisting infrastructure, including a septic field and buried water and electric lines. There are also existing plants that we’ll have to think about carefully: some of the trees have been brought in from other parts of the state and are unusual for this area. The house has been empty for two years, so the yard has been allowed to go a little while and opportunistic plants like briers and weed trees have gained strong footholds. As it is time to plant the garden, the yard and beds will be our first and top priority.


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