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The Northwest Side Historic District: A Walking Tour

Hamilton Street and Harrison Street

 

515 hamilton street

515
Ole S. and Bessie Torgerson
1888

A crested, bellcast tower adorns the mansard roof of the Torgerson House, Stoughton’s best example of the Second Empire style (and one of very few in the city). The twin Queen Anne style porches are a later addition and show the layering of another and even more popular style. At one time this house had six porches and is said to have had the first electric service in Stoughton.

Ole Torgerson (1856-1936) was born in Wisconsin to Norwegian parents. He was the Stoughton Postmaster, and one of the first in the city to own an automobile, which was housed in a garage at the rear.

After the Torgerson’s occupancy, the house passed briefly out of the family but in 1919 it was purchased by their daughter Maude Torgerson Olson and her husband Henry. It remained in their family until 1965.

“Choir practices for the Methodist Church used to be held in the spacious parlors in the front of the house.”
Judy Leonard, present owner

208 harrison

208
Knute and Johanna Kvam Jenson
1904

This was home to the Jensons and their ten children as well as Mrs. Jensen’s father. The Norwegian-born Jenson (1864-1941) arrived in the U.S. in 1884. In Stoughton, Knute (or Knut) was a carpenter and contractor and built many houses in the area. He also served as Fourth Ward alderman. At the time of his death the Jensons lived on North Division Street.

The hip-and-gable roof, Ionic porch and arched loggia at the second story are motifs seen on a number of Queen Anne style houses in the district.

The house was converted to a two-flat rental property in the 1920s, the first of a number of major alterations. In the 1990s it was converted back to a single-family house. The restoration of the long-enclosed porch was an important recent project.

 

716 hamilton street

716
Roy W. and Hazel Patterson
1912

Three types of siding arranged in distinct horizontal tiers graduating from wide weatherboards to smoothe stucco are notable Prairie-school inspired features of this house. The Northwest Side National Register nomination called it the best example of the Prairie Style in the district.

Roy (sometimes written as Ray) Patterson was a son of George M. and Sarah Patterson (617 W. Hamilton Street). By 1915, Roy served as Assistant Cashier of the First National Bank.

This house has been in the ownership of the present owner’s family for most of the twentieth century. Roy Patterson died a few years after the construction of the house. It was sold to another family, and then to Charles McCarthy, great uncle of the present owner. It has remained in the family since.

225 harrison

225
Knute Jenson
1911

About seven years after completing the house at 208, Jenson built this one. It is a good example of the American Foursquare, a style characterized by a hipped roof, square proportions, slightly overhanging eaves, and simple exterior decoration.

The well-detailed building has a handsome porch with square posts and a spacious porch.

“As a contractor he has here been most successful, having erected anumber of fine buildings in the city and surrounding districts and having also remodeled the Stoughton Water Works.
History of DaneCounty (1906)

 

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