Tobacco Factory History
Raised in the aftermath of a fire that swept through the district, destroying ten warehouses, the train depot, and approximately $50,000 worth of tobacco, the Lageret building is a salute to the importance and longstanding heritage of the tobacco industry in Stoughton.
Built in 1885 by the Turner and Atkinson Tobacco Company, it quickly became a part of what was known as Tobacco Junction, the industry’s heavy reliance on and proximity to the local railroad lending to the title. Stoughton’s prime position in the center of the tobacco growing region and abundant railroads made it an excellent place for storing and housing tobacco before large shipments could be made and it quickly grew to be one of the commercial centers in the Southern District of Wisconsin.
With the growth of the industry in Stoughton, the growth of the population followed, with many Norwegian immigrants flowing into the town. The men were attracted by the availability of work at the nearby wagon factory but this left the tobacco warehouses shortstaffed during sorting season. Desperate, owners asked the Norwegian wives for their assistance, to which they agreed on one condition, that they would be allowed two breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, to return home and attend to their chores and children, and of course have a cup of coffee that was always hot on the stove. Thus, the Coffee Break was born.
A new beginning
This building remained a tobacco warehouse up until the late 1960’s when it was briefly rented out to a machinery company then bought in the 1970’s by Stoughton Trailers. Bought specifically for the parking space behind the building, it was used as storage until 1987 when it was finally closed down. In 1994, renovations began on the building to make it suitable for leasing out to shops and restaurants under the name of the “Tobacco Junction Mall”. Since it’s opening, several businesses have passed through, including Stella’s Speakeasy and Stage Works Productions.
Now The Lageret has taken on a new role and is becoming one of the most sought after Wedding Venues in the area. We are humbled by this opportunity to share this special space, for such life changing events as the union of two lives. The space lends itself to be organized, and decorated in such a way to imbue a range of themes and feelings.