My last post was cause for reflection, a result of having roamed a Victorian Era mansion. As I wrote about my latest excursion, I recalled other 19th century homes I had perused in the past. And, as I finished Saturday’s piece, I longed to revisit those architectural vestiges. So, even if my escapades are a bit spotty, being that there are tons of historic homes to tour in Wisconsin, I’ll recap five Badger State structures that have interesting pasts.
Hazel Wood House
According to Wikipedia, this Greek Revival home was built for Morgan Lewis Martin and his wife Elizabeth. Finished in 1837, the structure’s front door faced the Fox River, because the Martins favored waterway transportation versus traveling by land. The home’s furnishings reflect the Victorian Era, and the property resides in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The Grignon Mansion, another Greek Revival home, which resides near the Fox River in Kaukauna, was also erected in 1837. It was built by successful fur trader Charles Grignon. Desirous of a wealthy family’s daughter, the house served as an enormous effort to woo Grignon’s bride to be. This Pioneer Era anomaly stands proudly on a large parcel of land, and was known as the Mansion in the Woods. Although there are parlors and the like, a rustic kitchen gives this place a novel twist.
Rahr-West Art Museum
This 1893 home was the inspiration for today’s post. Now serving the public as an art museum, this Queen Anne Revival house features a few classically furnished Victorian rooms. Although conceived by a mayor of the city, and owned by a beer brewer, this museum’s name also reflects Manitowoc’s shipbuilding heritage-being that John West, owner of the Manitowoc Company, contributed over four hundred pieces of art to this museum.
Hearthstone Historic House Museum
A 19th century home of the future, this 1893 manor was the first house to be lit with hydro-electric power. Today, two stories of this Queen Anne Revival structure are exquisitely furnished, all pieces being reminiscent of Victorian times-as dim 7-watt light bulbs meagerly illuminate them. The mansion resides in the heart of Appleton, being a true reflection of Midwestern upscale life.
The Pabst Mansion
Lastly, just a short drive from downtown Milwaukee, the Pabst Mansion’s Flemish Renaissance Revival architecture looms. A distinct showcase of Victorian opulence, this mansion’s interior draws upon different European ages and influences. With servants quarters that depict Captain Frederick Pabst’s respect for humanity, this beer baron’s home is both a show of old world flair and the age’s cutting edge innovations and technology.
Like I said, there are tons of other Wisconsin 19th century homes to tour. Yet, these were a few worth mentioning. My hopes, although sometimes my goals adhere to fate’s winds, are to visit a few more in the upcoming months. If you’re in or around these particular areas, check them out. It’s amazing what one can learn during a brief hour long tour.