The Palmer-Gullickson Octagon house was originally located at Neshonoc, an area about one mile north of West Salem near the La Crosse River. The home was built in 1856 by Dr. Horace Palmer, the first resident doctor of Neshonoc.
When thriving Neshonoc lost its residents to West Salem because the railroad was being built on land secured in West Salem - the large Palmer home was moved to its present location so Dr. Palmer could be close to his patients.
The process of moving the house took three weeks, during which time the Palmer family kept right on living in it. A large wing on the structure made it necessary to split the house for easier moving. The house was heavy, made of oak beams, brick lining for warmth, and walls were filled with sawdust for insulation.
One very unusual feature was the attachment of the barn directly to it. The attached barn offered the pioneer doctor convenience because he used his horses often.
The house was sold in 1876 to Dr. Mary Lottridge, the second woman doctor in the United States.
Then, the home was sold to Roy Gilfillan who made the doctor's office into an apartment. In 1921 the home was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. Oliver Gullickson. Their son and daughter-in-law, Dr. & Mrs. F. L. Gullickson, lived in the apartment.
Mrs. F. L. (Rachel) Gullickson was a teacher, historian, nature lover, and avid world traveler. She served as committee member and officer in many organizations throughout her lifetime. She was honored by the students at West Salem High School as the 1974 Neshonoc Yearbook Dedicatee. She was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church of West Salem. She was very interested in West Salem - it's past, present, and future. Through Rachel Gullickson's generosity, the West Salem Historical Society was able to purchase this house and carry out her wish that the home be preserved and open to the public.
Open Monday-Friday, Memorial Day- Labor Day 1:00 p.m.-4 p.m. or other times by appt.
Palmer-Gullickson Octagon House