Partridge Hall was built in 1878 by Alanson Partridge, at a cost of $2,000. The original north wing served as a first floor carpenter shop where Partridge built furniture, cabinets, and coffins. The second floor was used as a performance hall, rented for meetings, dances, & dinners. A typical evening's ticket price might include a dinner, a play, and lodging for the family horse in the local livery. Grand masquerade and Christmas balls were sponsored by what was then known as "Partridge's Hall"
To accommodate growing audiences, a south wing was completed in time for a July 4th celebration in 1886, with a 2-hour oration by Robert Marion Lafollette. In 1908, Partridge sold the hall to the local chapter of the Modern Woodmen of America. The Woodmen continued to rent the hall for social functions, proms, roller skating, lectures, and even basketball games.
In 1920, the hall took the name Star Theatre. For another twenty years, the building continued as a social center of the Argyle area. Featured were six & seven reel silent films. The first film shown in Argyle was "Half a Chance" starring Mahlon Hamilton and Lillian Rich. The theatre re-opened Thanksgiving weekend, 1920, admission was 15 or 25 cents. Mary Pickford is reported to have made an appearance here.
In 1947, the Woodmen sold to a local family who operated a chick hatchery. By the 1960's the hall was used as storage and a work shop, and fell into decades of decline. The building was purchased following a sheriff's auction in 1991. A series of former owners and aborted restoration attempts had left the building gutted to the studs on most of the interior, and the windows boarded up.
The hall is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places (under the name Star Theatre). Standing in isolation one block from the business district, the building retains its original storefronts, the segmental arch windows, the 6/6 panes, and its unique bell shaped fascia.
The building now boasts a first floor restaurant, second floor guest rooms, and an auditorium restored with a period stage. We hope you will truly experience the era of Alanson Partridge, and early Argyle, Wisconsin.
Help us celebrate! Partridge Hall is 134 years old this year!!