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The Northwest Side Historic District: A Walking Tour
N. Prairie Street & W. Prospect Street

 

131 n prairie street

131 (S)
Erick A. and Emma Lewis
1906

Erick (or Eric) and Emma Lewis farmed in the area before building this house on the steep slope of S. Prairie Street. Erick (1863-1942) later worked as a mechanic. Both were natives of Wisconsin, or Norwegian parentage. In 1910, their household included three Lewis children and a boarder, Joseph Hollenbeck.

Olaf and Lena Skaalen purchased the house in the 1920s. Skaalen purchased the house in the 1920s. Skaalen was the Stoughton police chief. The building was converted to a two-flat by the family. From the 1940s through the late 1950s the house became the “Little Bit O’Norway” restaurant.

The handsome porch that was originally wrapped around the building was among features restored by the present owners.

102 w prospect street

102
O.M. and Sarah Ellen Turner
1890

The Turner House is the only brick Queen Anne Style house in the district. Built of cream brick imported from the Milwaukee area, it has a fine spindlework porch. The first flush toilet in Stoughton was reportedly installed in this house.

Sarah Ellen was a daughter of Luke Stoughton and O.M. was the president of Stoughton State Bank. Previously he worked for the railroad, and had interests in lumber and tobacco. The Turners subdivided a large tract of land here called Sarah E. Turner’s Addition. The Turners had five children.

In 1893 the house was sold to Christ Olson. About 1903 Our Savior’s LuthernChurch purchased it for use as a parsonage and between 1915 and 1955 it housed a number of pastors and their families. It is now a single-family home.

“The parsonage provided a special setting for many a Stoughton wedding.”
Theresa Ganshert, present owner

216 n prairie street

216 (N)
James Hart
1902

The Hart House retains the original surfaces of its Queen Anne Style exterior, and also has a carriage barn at rear. Such carriage barns were a standard feature of many turn-of-the-century Stoughton homes. The house has hip-and-gable roofs, slender columns at the porch, and shingle-covered gable ends. It demonstrates local builder’s interest in the decorative possibilities of wood.

An example of a different scale of building stands at the top of the Prairie Street hill. 232 N. Prairie (1886) is a picturesque gingerbread cottage with many of its original details still intact. It was originally owned by Julius Fix. In 1883, the city directory listed Fix as a cigar maker.

105 w prospect street

105
Henry R. Swan
1911
James R. Law, architect

At the time of its construction this house was likely quite talked about. The PrairieSchool influence is evident in the smooth stucco exterior, low overhanging eaves, and flared base. Henry R. Swan was a Stoughton mail carrier.

James Law (1885-1952) was a well-known Madison architect noted for his progressive turn-of-the-century designs. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Law first worked for the Madison firm of Claude and Starck and Arthur Peabody. He opened his own office in 1914 and was later joined by his brother Edward J. Law and Ellis C. Porter. The firm completed many commissions in Madison and across the state, spanning diverse styles and building types. Notable Madison commissions included the University Club, a number of fraternity and sorority houses along Langdon Street, and Manchester’s Department Store (razed).

James Law was married to a daughter of Stoughton residents James and Katherine Campbell of N. Monroe Street. Campbell was a tobacco buyer.

 

 

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