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Stoughton, Wisconsin: Birthplace of the Coffee Break

A small sign on a building proclaims, "Home of America's Coffee Break." The old "Coffee St." street sign is there as well. The coffee break began here in the late 1880s, at the insistence of Norwegian-American women.

578 E. Main St., Stoughton, WI
East edge of downtown, just east of the train tracks. On the northwest corner of US-51/E. Main St. and Hillside Ave., in front of a green-painted building.
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Visitor Tips and News About Birthplace of the Coffee Break

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Birthplace of the Coffee Break

Not here anymore. Walked up and down Main Street several times; asked about the sign. No one knew of it.

[Sara, 05/07/2021]

It's a small "Home of America's Coffee Break" sign on the east edge of town, and unfortunately "Coffee Street" is now Hillside Avenue (Although there's still a small "Coffee St." street sign). Your disappointment has motivated us to improve our directions.

Sign for Coffee Street, Home of America's Coffee Break.

Birthplace of the Coffee Break

Just a small sign on Main Street. Close to the Whatever Bar and Nevermind Saloon.

[Missy, 09/05/2019]
Birthplace of the Coffee Break

The town's CoC website informs: "In the late 1800s, Norwegian immigrants arrived in the Stoughton area, attracted by the availability of work in T.G. Mandt's wagon factory. While the men were employed building wagons, local tobacco warehouse owners experienced a shortage of workers each harvest, when it was time to bring in the tobacco. Mr. Osmund Gunderson decided to ask the Norwegian wives, who lived just up the hill from his warehouse, if they would come and help him sort the tobacco. The women agreed, as long as they could have a break in the morning and another in the afternoon, to go home and tend to their chores. This also meant they were free to have a cup of coffee from the pot that was always hot on the stove. Mr. Gunderson agreed and with this simple habit, the coffee break was born."

One of the streets that was near the factory was given the honorary name of Coffee Break Street, but aside from that and the festival there's not much to see coffee break-wise.

Stoughton also hosts one of the largest Syttende Mai Festivals in the world.

[Henry Verden, 07/31/2008]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Viking Troll WomanViking Troll Woman, Stoughton, WI - < 1 mi.
Old Air Force JetOld Air Force Jet, Stoughton, WI - < 1 mi.
Big Apple TowerBig Apple Tower, Edgerton, WI - 11 mi.
In the region:
Tiny Church, Artificial Waterfalls, Montello, WI - 61 mi.

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