Oaklawn, an Oasis in your busy life

According to Dunn County records, the Oaklawn Stock Farm was established in 1889.  The 518 acre farm was equipped with all the “modern” improvements including indoor plumbing, (we’ve continued that tradition), closets, hot water heat, electricity to avoid the constant fear of the dangerous lantern, and a water tower to provide water to all the outlying farm buildings.

Included on the property was a sixteen sided barn with cupola, and three race tracks, two of which were covered to allow training in all types of weather.  There were eight other buildings and three residences on the property.

Oaklawn was owned by Andrew Tainter, a partner in the Knapp, Stout & Co. Lumber Company. His enthusiasm for competition followed him into his later years as his horses raced at county fairs and race tracks throughout the region. The farm was nationally known for its “high-bred trotting stock” and boarding services.



The racing stock was sold in 1903, but the farm continued under the Tainter family until 1948, when it was purchased by the John P. Dale family who farmed until 1968. The Dale families continued to live at Oaklawn until 1990, when construction began for the Stout Technology Park.


Your Innkeeper

Posted by on Jul 25, 2011 in Oaklawn History | 0 comments

Longevity runs in the family for Maggie Foote,
innkeeper at Oaklawn.

Growing up in Poplar, WI.  Her early memories of great-grandparents and treasured time spent with grandparents contributed to her interest in “old stuff.”

A 1974 graduate of UW-Stout, Maggie returned to Menomonie in 1985 to serve as the executive director of the Mabel Tainter Memorial.  It was during that time that she was introduced to Oaklawn Stockfarm.   In 1992 she moved to the State:Regional Arts Center, Eau Claire where she was the executive director of a 1926 historic theatre and performing arts center.  A fortune cookie may have predicted the future.  Shortly before she and her then-partner Les, made an offer to purchase Oaklawn, the tiny slip of paper foretold “be careful what you wish for.”   They closed on the house in January of 1997 and began the task of reviving the grand old Victorian farmhouse.

Oaklawn had not been occupied for over a year.  The new owners spent evenings and weekends stripping wallpaper, refinishing floors, scraping, repairing and painting the exterior and getting the house ready for guests.  To meet modern expectations three bathrooms were added to allow for each guest room to have its own bath.  Maggie left the arts center in 1999 to devote full attention to the B&B.

The first guests were welcomed to Oaklawn Bed & Breakfast in April of 1998.

Today, Maggie continues to welcome and offer gracious hospitality to guests. Some guests return several times each year.  Hugs are exchanged as well as stories of family, jobs and life experiences.  In between guests, Maggie finds time to travel, including a trip to China in fall of 2010.  Calling it her “sabbatical,” she’s now enjoying some redecorating and repurposing of rooms and furnishings.

Named the Wisconsin Home Based Business Champion of 2007 by the US Small Business Administration. The balance of history and hospitality plays nicely with the fast-paced challenges of writing, editing, ever-changing technology, creative communications and social media.