Historic Landmarks & Preservation Commission

CHLPC to Receive Grant from Enbridge

Enbridge has approved the Columbus Historic Landmarks & Preservation Commission's Fueling Futures grant request in the amount of $5,000.00 to assist in upgrading the bathrooms at the Rest Haven. The funds will be deposited with the City of Columbus in January.

By collaborating with community leaders, Enbridge is Fueling Futures. Together they're energizing communities through initiatives that strengthen community safety, vibrancy and sustainability. Enbridge is proud to support local priorities that make positive and lasting impacts in our communities.

Rest Haven

James Quickenden (February 22, 1855 - February 10, 1955), who built the Rest Haven in Fireman’s Park in Columbus and donated it to the city in 1923, was a well-liked character around town at the time.   Note that he lived to be two weeks short of his one-hundredth birthday.

His father, Robert, was a carpenter who built several houses in town, including the one where James was born at 419 S. Ludington Street. No doubt the elder Quickenden helped with the construction of the Rest Haven, but it is known that James did the finishing work on the 1470 square foot brick building that has been in continuous use for over one hundred years.

Before becoming a pharmacist, he was well-known around town for his skill at playing billiards while he worked in a restaurant and tended horses for his livelihood.  He also was known as a good dancer and was the most popular ladies' man around.

To become a pharmacist, he worked under the tutelage of John Swarthout, the first pharmacist in town who arrived in 1848.   He used several other sites for pharmaceutical dispensaries before erecting the iconic Swarthout Building which anchors one of the four corners downtown at James and Ludington Streets in 1868.  It was the first drugstore in Columbia County and has served as a pharmacy continually since that time.  After Swarthout, James Quickenden bought the building when he became a pharmacist.   After his death, William Koch bought it for his pharmacy, but most notably, four generations of Sharrows served as pharmacists in the building, beginning in 1925. In 2012 the pharmacy was sold to Shopko Hometown and it subsequently became Forward Pharmacy, today’s current occupant.   

Quickenden had no formal schooling to become a pharmacist, but working under the tutelage of Swarthout, Quickenden gained all the skills and knowledge he needed to complete all the examinations necessary to become a full-fledged pharmacist.

In 1930, Quickenden surprised everyone in town by beginning construction on a home at 605 Park Avenue in preparation to marry the 36-year-old Ruth Arbuckle.  He was 75 years old at the time.  She remained devoted to him until his death.

Originally constructed to be a summer layover spot for travelers before hotels, motels, and bed-and-breakfasts were widespread, the Rest Haven now serves as a warm weather spot for family gatherings and service clubs’ fundraisers such as brat fries.  For many decades the city recreation department’s summer day camp for children ages 4 through 13 has been headquartered in the building.  The Rest Haven has been receiving many upgrades since 2013 when the Columbus Historic Landmarks and Preservation Commission (CHLPC) began by replacing the kitchen appliances.  The restrooms, however, are original to the building and lack handicap accessibility and modern features.  In addition to remodeling the restrooms, CHLPC has a wish list of other enhancements to this building that they would like to accomplish.  However, these projects involving upgrades to the electrical and plumbing systems are very costly.  The great room is functional, as is, but it too needs some cosmetic enhancements, a new ceiling, and better lighting fixtures.  

CHLPC continues to make improvements to this building which is on the National Register of Historic Places.   If you would like to help rejuvenate this community gem, contact any member of CHLPC, or send your tax-deductible donation of any size to CHLPC, 105 N. Dickason Boulevard, Columbus, WI.  53925. (City Hall).  Commission members, appointed by the mayor, are Ruth Hermanson, president, Libby Gilbertson, vice president, Henry Elling, secretary, Beth Altschwager, treasurer, Jan Ulrich, calendar chair and archivist, Peter Kaland, and Katie Nichols.

Fireman's Park Pavilion

Firemans Park Pavilion Window Project 1

The City of Columbus would like to thank HLPC for their generous gifts on continued improvements to the Fireman’s Park Pavilion.  We are thrilled to have your support. Through their efforts, HLPC has been able to undertake much needed improvements at the Pavilion and continue to work towards keeping historic charm in our community.  You truly make the difference for Columbus, and we are extremely grateful!

Pavilion window blinds image 01

The Pavilion received new window treatments on the Park Avenue-facing side. These blinds will help cool the facility in the summer, reduce glare inside and will help keep residential areas from being too distracted by event lighting. The blinds were 100% donated to the Pavilion by the Columbus Historic Landmarks and Preservation Commission and make a fine addition to one of the best venues in the area for weddings and other events!


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  1. Columbus Historic District Maps
  2. Organizations Here to Help
  3. Building Renovations in Downtown Historic District
  4. SAFEbuilt Building Permit Application
  5. Building, Plumbing & Electrical Permit Information
  6. Signage in Downtown Historic District
  7. Sign Permit Application
  8. How to Obtain a COA
  9. Application Certificate of Appropriateness
  10. Columbus Sign Code
  11. Columbus Historic Preservation Code


Name Term Expires
Ian Gray Alder
Amy Jo Meyers Staff
Katie Sharrow Nichols 2024
Libby Gilbertson 2024
Henry Elling 2024
Pete Kaland 2025
Ruth Hermanson - President 2025
Jan Ulrich 2026
Beth Altschwager - Treasurer 2026