Historic home tour looks to the west
If you go
What: 31st Historic House and Garden Tour
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28.
Where: Eight homes in Janesville's Look West Neighborhood.
Tickets: $15 in advance through Aug. 27. Advance tickets are available at the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum Center, 426 N. Jackson St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $20 on the day of the tour at the Helen Jeffris Wood Museum.
JANESVILLE The 31st annual Rock County Historical Society Historic House and Garden Tour this year features homes from the Look West Neighborhood.
Among the homes is one of the city's most famous buildings, the Tallman House.
Tallman House, 440 N. Jackson St.
Wealthy lawyer and land speculator William Morrison Tallman built the Italian Villa-style home between 1855 and 1857. It is a five-story home that features a cupola, glass entrance, porch columns and a newel post. The house is the only remaining private residence in Wisconsin in which President Abraham Lincoln slept. He stayed one night in October 1859.
The house is a museum run by the Rock County Historical Society. It features 75 percent of the original furnishes from when the Tallman family lived in the home, including the bed where Lincoln slept.
The Tallman House is undergoing renovations and restoration of its roof, chimneys, sophets, fascias and brackets. The historical society will have someone stationed at the Tallman House to talk to people on the tour about the renovations.
Dale and Trudy Hicks, 316 N. Washington St.
The original owners of this house, built in 1883, were Henry and Julia Stearns. Henry was a prominent druggist, but sometime between 1901 and 1905 the name was changed on the abstract to just Julia Stearns. Sometime thereafter, Julia married William Staddard. who died in 1911 at the age of 71. In 1917, the house was still listed as a single family home.
Dale and Trudy Hicks bought the home in 1997 and rented out both units until April 2010. At that time, Dale remodeled the lower unit and moved into it in July of the same year.
The 10-foot ceilings are among the interesting characteristics of the apartment. They allowed the owner to build in a 30-cubic-foot storage area above the closet in the bedroom. The laundry area is conveniently located in one area of the bathroom, eliminating the need to go outside and down into the basement to do laundry. The linen closet was built on an angle to help with the flow through the bathroom and provide more space for linens. The kitchen is open and pleasant to work in, and placement of the sink was given careful consideration to give the cook a view of the dining area.
Daniel and Diane Erdman, 469 N. Terrace St.
This Queen Anne style home's exterior features mitered cedar clapboard siding, steep gabled roofs topped with decorative ornament, a front porch with circular roofline and conical finial, ornate gabled fretwork and horizontal leaded glass windows. The north side of the house has two bumped out window seats.
The house was built in 1884 and occupied by the Edgar Smith family until 1896. In 1900, Charles C. Devereaux, who had been living at the Park Hotel, purchased the home and moved in with his bride, Grace Helen (Mead).
Originally known as 175 Terrace, the house went through major renovations. The first added a three-season porch on the south side. With the second renovation in the early 1920s, Dr. Devereaux set out to convert the property to a duplex. The old butler pantry was expanded and a bedroom was added to the rear of the house. Above this addition, the second story roof was raised. The back staircase that led to the kitchen was removed, and the front staircase was enclosed and altered.
The Erdman family took ownership in December 2008, and after help from the Janesville Neighborhood Services program moved into the home in April 2010.
The Erdman family has restored the 3,000-square-foot home to a single-family residence, re-creating beautiful old world charm with modern day livability.
Paul and Darcy Hurlbut, 337 Madison St.
In 1856, this property was titled as a Woodruff lot and was valued at $600. William P. Stow, an elder for the city of Janesville, built this Italianate style home in 1877 for a cost of $1,600.
The original address was 129 Madison St. In 1909, the address was changed to 337 Madison St. Its features include clapboard siding, 27 original windows, intact ornate original woodwork and three doors leading to the stairway of the second floor. Also in the home can be seen the remaining caps of the gas light system. There are three push-button light switches still operational as well.
The current owners, Paul and Darcy Hurlbut, discovered dates of 1863 and 1864 in the locking mechanisms on the doors. The original well still can be seen at the side of the house and is currently being used for plants.
Several of the home's occupants over the years were employees of the railroad. The depot, which was located near where Burger King now stands on the corner of Centerway and Academy Street, was within walking distance. Because of the close proximity of the depot, the owners might have had opportunity to take in boarders.
In 1987, the home was purchased by the current owners, Paul and Darcy Hurlbut. The home has been well cared for over the years, and only cosmetic changes were needed when the Hurlbuts moved in.
Ron and Margaret Delaney, 439 N. Jackson St.
This Queen Anne style home was built in 1883 for Leod and Jane Woodruff Becker.
Only five families have lived in this home. The Becker family lived there until the turn of the century, when Leod died from appendicitis. Frank and Bertha Baines moved in around 1900 and lived in the house until the early 1940s. Frank was in the tobacco business and owned a tobacco warehouse. Ron and Margaret Delaney, the current owners, have lived in the house for 32 years.
The exterior of the home exhibits many Queen Anne features. There are bull's-eye medallions on the driveway side of the home. Three remaining colored glass windows decorate each floor of the home along with three stained glass windows in the front living room. Each of the four gables is covered with cedar shakes at the peak, each a different pattern.
Aluminum siding, which covered the home for more than 50 years, was removed in 2010, and many of the Queen Anne features were found intact underneath. Hidden beneath lath and plaster in the south side, second floor bedroom was a completely intact 32 paned-colored glass window. The restoration was completed with a new paint job with glorious colors.
In an acknowledgment of history and community, the Delaney's have complimented their dining room with a landscape mural based on scenes from Janesville's past. The mural was painted by Marthea Riley.
Wade Hunt and Rianne Schmalz, 452 N. Pearl St.
This massive yet conservative American foursquare home was constructed in 1910 for German immigrants Frank and Louise Albrecht. This parcel was purchased for $596 on Oct. 14, 1909. A subsequent loan for $2,000 was drafted on the same day to be used for the labor and materials in the construction of the home.
The exterior of this residence has many of the hallmarks of the American foursquare style. Resting beneath its steep hipped roof and embellished with multiple large dormers is the large front porch with oversized stairway and an abundance of grouped windows. The interior displays more than 2,000 square feet of bird's-eye maple flooring beneath original baseboards, wooden columns and ornate door trim.
The interior also is elegantly adorned with most of the original brass light fixtures, which came from Frank's electric shop.
212 Madison St.
This property is one of 12 vacant and foreclosed properties purchased by the city with a $1.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Grant received in 2009. Seven of the homes are being rehabilitated, and five were demolished for future redevelopment.
The home at 212 Madison St. is an American foursquare built in 1908 with exterior walls of concrete block.
Rock County Historical Society archives show the property was owned by the Van Kirk family from 1856 to 1883. The value in 1869 was $2,000, which might mean there was another house on the site at the time. No other information is available until 1909, when the current house was built.
414 N. Washington St.
The home at 414 N. Washington St. is one of the seven homes being rehabilitated after being purchased by the city. The Queen Anne style home was built in 1909. It is somewhat smaller but has many of the features of the Queen Anne style. It is located across the street from Old Washington Park.
Rock County Historical Society Archives show the property was owned by the Bump family from 1867 to 1878. The Etheredge family owned it from 1882 to 1889. The house appears in records in 1909.