Hartford's story began when James and Charles Rossman bought 40 acres of land on the Rubicon River in about 1844. They constructed a dam across the river's rapids and then built a sawmill that used the power of the water to make lumber and help the area grow. Continued growth was cemented in 1855 when rails were laid that linked Chicago and Minneapolis, Minnesota, to LaCrosse and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for the rest of the century.
Hartford was named after Hartford, Connecticut, as the first settlers were from New England. They were descendants of the English Puritans who had settled in New England in the 1600s and were among the New England farmers who had gone west into the unspoiled Northwest Territory in the early 1800s.
An important Hartford legacy began when Ludwig “Louis” Kissel moved to Hartford in 1883. By 1890, he had formed a partnership with his sons, Adolph, Otto, William, and George. The five men started a number of businesses together, beginning with the L. Kissel & Sons Hardware Store. One of their important businesses was Hartford Plow Works, which began in 1892 as a manufacturer and distributor of farm machinery. The Kissels distributed engines to other companies through Kissel Manufacturing Company and developed their own two- and four-stroke gasoline engines.
In 1906, they formed the Kissel Motor Car Company, joined by H.K. Butterfield. The auto company was in production from 1907 to 1930. These men were among the city leaders who formed First National Bank and the Hartford Chamber of Commerce. Kissel Industries was created in 1936. The company produced the Kissel outboard motor, called the Waterwitch, which was sold exclusively by Sears and Roebuck from 1936 to 1944.
Homes once lived in by the Kissels are among the beloved historic buildings in Hartford.
What are the best times to visit Hartford, Wisconsin?
The best time to visit Hartford would be during the warm season, between late May and mid-September, when the tourism season is in full swing and hotel rates are highest. Book early if traveling during the summer to save a little on your room and ensure that you get a room.
The temperatures in late spring and early fall are still comfortable, with highs ranging from the mid-60s to the low 70s. Traveling during this time would mean slightly lower hotel rates in exchange for having to wear a sweater or light jacket at night.
During the rest of the year, Hartford is in the cool, cold, and freezing seasons, with snowy weather lasting for five months from early November to mid-April. Hotel rates will get lower as the temperature does. Despite the colder weather, you'll still find things to do. Winter outdoor activities are popular, but plenty of cold-weather activities are indoors as well if you dislike the cold.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Hartford, WI:
Hartford by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean rate trends by star rating class in Hartford, WI. You can use these line graphs to determine the cheapest time to stay in Hartford for upcoming travels.
What are the luxury hotels near Hartford, WI?
4 Star Average Prices: $186.50
Hilton Garden Inn Oconomowoc in Oconomowoc offers luxurious accommodations a 6-minute drive away from Oconomowoc Arts Center. Your spacious room will include a refrigerator, a microwave, a 32-inch LCD television, and a coffee/tea maker. The hotel offers an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness center. Room service is available during limited hours, and you can get a drink at the lounge. Cooked-to-order breakfasts are served each day for a fee.
Staybridge Suites Milwaukee West-Oconomowoc offers rooms with kitchenettes that boast full-size refrigerators and stovetops. Entertain yourself with the 32-inch flat-screen television, enjoy some in-room coffee, and stay connected free Wi-Fi. You can enjoy a meal at BridgeMart, meet other guests at the free receptions held on certain days, and take advantage of the free buffet breakfast. The hotel offers an indoor pool, fitness facilities, and a 24-hour business center.
The Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee puts you only five minutes away by car from Pewaukee Lake and Two Brothers Wines. Your well-appointed room will feature a pillowtop bed, a refrigerator and microwave, and free Wi-Fi. Among the hotel's amenities are a water park, which has a surcharge, along with an indoor pool, an arcade/game room, and a fitness center. Dine at Didi's Supper Club, get a drink in the bar, or stay in your room and enjoy room service during limited hours. The Ingleside Hotel serves full breakfasts each morning for a fee.
What are the budget hotels near Hartford, WI?
3 Star Average Prices: $123.61
AmericInn by Wyndham Hartford WI is in the Hartford business district, about a 15-minute drive from Little Switzerland and Erin Hills Golf Course. Your room will feature a flat-screen television, a desk, a coffee/tea maker, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel offers pleasing recreational options, such as an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a health club. Free breakfast is provided.
Another Hartford lodging option is Super 8 by Wyndham Hartford WI, where your room will feature a microwave, a refrigerator, a desk, a coffee/tea maker, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel offers a 24-hour business center and complimentary breakfast.
2 Star Average Prices: $112.75
What are the best discounts near Hartford, WI?
Hampton Inn & Suites West Bend offers discounts to seniors, government employees, and members of the military. You'll be less than 3 miles from the Washington County Old Courthouse Museum and Big Cedar Lake. Your room will come with a pillowtop bed, premium bedding, a refrigerator, a flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel provides an indoor pool, a spa tub, a 24-hour fitness center, a 24-hour business center, and a limo/town car service. You can grab something to eat from the convenience store or enjoy room service during limited hours. The hotel serves a free buffet breakfast each morning.
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, West Bend, WI offers senior, AAA, and government/military discounts. Your room will be equipped with a refrigerator, a flat-screen television, and free Wi-Fi. Enjoy the indoor pool for an invigorating workout, or relax in the spa tub. The hotel also provides a 24-hour business center, a picnic area, and a fireplace in the lobby.
What are the best hotels near Hartford, WI?
Holiday Inn Express Germantown - NW Milwaukee in Germantown puts you within a 15-minute drive of Mayfair Mall and the Harley Davidson Factory. Your room will feature a refrigerator, a microwave, a flat-screen television, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel provides an indoor pool, a spa tub, and a fitness center. Free buffet breakfast is served each morning.
Cobblestone Hotel & Suites - Hartford offers rooms that are equipped with refrigerators, microwaves, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. The stylishly decorated hotel offers an indoor pool, a fitness center, a fireplace in the lobby, and free newspapers.
What are the best things to do in Hartford, WI?
Hartford is a busy little city with lots of things to do and places to go. The Hartford Outdoor Farmers' Market opens in early May and goes through mid-November each year. It features produce, flowers, plants, bakery items, craft items, and more.
Among Hartford's annual events is the annual Thresheree & Harvest Festival, which features demonstrations of steam engine threshing, plowing, and log sawing, as well as exhibits and tours of historic structures.
The Wisconsin Automobile Museum features 70 vehicles, Wisconsin's largest collection of antique cars and trucks. These include the rare Kissel automobile that was built in Hartford and the Nash automobile that was built in Kenosha. A collection of industrial/farm engines and outboard motors is also featured.
Schauer Arts Center, a nonprofit regional facility in downtown Hartford, is home to local arts groups and offers art classes for all ages. It also hosts several social and business events. The building, originally a canning factory, was built in 1918 and is now home to the Ruth A. Knoll Theater, the Suckow Family Arts Gallery, a dance studio, and more.
Visit Kettle Moraine State Forest's Pike Lake Unit for lovely trails and scenic views from atop Powder Hill, which is part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The forest is on state Highway 60 between Hartford and Slinger, Wisconsin. You can also view the state forest's Loew Lake Unit on Emerald Drive. The scenic valley features the east branch of the Oconomowoc River and Loew Lake, as well as two smaller lakes.
Take Rustic Road 33 for a winding, hilly drive through a natural kettle area. You'll see stretches of agricultural land as well as the church spires atop Holy Hill, a well-known seminary. Along another section of the road, you can get a view of Lowe Lake.
If you're traveling with a dog, head to Independence Dog Park. This 6-acre fenced park offers plenty of shade and benches so you can rest in comfort while letting your dog roam and make friends.
Golfers can try out a few new courses in and near Hartford. Washington County Golf Course and Hartford Golf Club are both par-72 courses. Erin Hills Golf Course is a championship links-style course with five sets of tees to accommodate golfers of all skill levels.
In nearby West Bend, Wisconsin, you'll find the beautiful and peaceful Labyrinth Garden Earth Sculpture, featuring turf paths and flower-bed walls.
These are just a few of the things that make Hartford, Wisconsin, a great place to visit. Make your reservations and start planning your next adventure today!
FAQs about hotels in Hartford
How much does a cheap hotel in Hartford cost per night?
In the last year, a 2 star hotel in Hartford can be as cheap as $112.75 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a 3 star hotel in Hartford cost per night?
In the last year, the average 3 star hotel in Hartford has been $123.61 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a higher-end hotel in Hartford cost?
In the last year, the average 4 star hotel in Hartford has been $186.50 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)