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History

The State Bank of Spring Green was founded in 1900. F.B. Hyland was president until 1916. Thomas W. King was a cashier and Joseph Lins was vice president. The building that Freddy Valentine’s Public House now resides in was built in 1915 at a cost of just over $7000. It served as the business location for the State Bank of Spring Green until approximately 1962. At that time the building sat for a number of years.

The State Bank of Spring Green is the only Neo-classical Revival building in Spring Green. At the time the building was constructed Neo-classical Revival style buildings were prevalent in Wisconsin. Other examples of the style were the Wisconsin State Capitol and the State Historical Society building in Madison. The design of the bank building’s ornate façade is somewhat unusual in that all of the fascia exterior features, including the columns, parapet and other decorative characteristics, are clad in brown, smooth-surfaced terra cotta pottery tile that have the appearance of smooth granite. The cast, gas-fire architectural sculpture pieces were supplied by Midland Terra Cotta Company of Chicago and cost of $1200 at the time of the construction.

For a short time the building was leased to the River Valley School District and their district offices. In 1972 Chicago artist Peg Miller purchased the building, initially using it as her art studio and she named the building “The Treasury”. In the early 1980’s she and her husband took up residence in the building. The uniqueness of the use of the bank building as a private residence led to feature television presentations on Public Broadcasting Service and The Home and Garden channel.

In 2007 David and Diane Beno purchased the building from the Miller’s. Using local talent, they constructed a 1000 sq. ft. addition to house the state of the art kitchen, guest restrooms and basement prep and storage area. Soon after construction they opened the fine dining restaurant “The Bank Restaurant and Wine Bar”. The Beno’s oversaw a major interior and exterior renovation while maintaining the integrity and beauty of the original design. The building was accepted for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in April of 2007.

In August of 2012 David and Jeaneane Owen gave the building a second life as a restaurant, opening Freddy Valentine’s Public House. Putting in many hours of sweat equity and utilizing the many talents of friends and family, the Owen’s designed and remodeled the front room using many of the assets from the original teller wall and repurposed them as a new bar, custom teller drawer pub tables, stone and wood trim work. Old light fixtures, wood and steel doors, were given rebirth as unique interior attributes and now can be seen in many parts of the building. The result now houses a must-see landmark and Gastro Pub in beautiful downtown Spring Green.