In the 1820s and 1830s, the area between Green Bay and Prairie du Chien was a major fur-trading region. Fort Winnebago, built at the portage between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, was the middle link in a chain of three garrisons constructed to protect this trade. All that is left of the fort today is the Surgeon’s Quarters. The building, now a museum, pre-dates the fort and never stood within the stockade’s enclosure. It began as the house of Francois LeRoi, who operated a portage business. The army established the fort in 1828 and purchased the house for use as a sutler’s store and, later, the surgeon’s house. The fort ceased operation in 1845, after which the house was extensively altered. During the 1930s, the Daughters of the American Revolution restored the building to its 1834 appearance.
The U-shaped house is built of hand-hewn pine logs with wide chinks. It consists of two front-gabled wings, each with two rooms, connected by a passageway. Inside, the walls are plastered with lime over hand-sawn and-tooled lath, and much of the original flooring remains.