Baraboo, established at the oxbow of the Baraboo River, was in its early years home to many milling companies. These companies milled flour, lumber, and other products, but the most important was the Island Woolen Mills Company, established in 1863. The firm enlarged its physical plant between 1915 and 1925 to keep up with increased demand for its wool fabric, blankets, and automobile upholstery. But by 1949, aging equipment and a shift in demand toward finer woolens forced the factory to close. A fire subsequently left only the office building standing.
Its design by Claude and Starck is reminiscent of their design for Lincoln School in Madison (see DA44), but with simpler ornament. The horizontal rhythm of windows, emphatic orange brick frame around the rows of pilasters, and subtle brick detailing suggest the Prairie Style. The stone capitals crowning the pilasters allude to the Corinthian order without fully expressing it.