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143 West Main

143 West Main – circa 1875 – Italianate

This home first belonged to Charles H. Wilder, an early Evansville businessman who built the first cheese factory in town and operated a lumber yard.  In the 1880s the cheese factory was converted to a tobacco warehouse to service the growing tobacco industry in the region.  This home is an excellent example of the later Italianate style with double brackets and dentils under the eaves, ornamental hooded lintels and tall narrow windows.  The double door entry with bracketed entry portico and repeated cornice detail is distinctive.

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228 West Main

228 West Main – 1874 – Italianate

This two-story gable ell wood frame home was built by prominent early businessman Almeron Eager (1838-1902).  Eager was a partner in the Smith and Eager Dry Goods and Grocery, and he owned many of the prime commercial and industrial lots in town.  He willed large sums of money to educational and religious organizations, including money for a new city library.  Italianate details include unusual rope-beaded window hoods, bracketed cornices on the porch and bay, and tall, narrow windows.

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250 West Main

250 West Main – circa 1855 – Greek Revival

Moses Vervalen was Evansville's only brick mason in the 1850s and 1860s.  He built this rectangular two-story home with local cream brick in the simple, utilitarian manner of the period.  Greek Revival details include cornice returns on facing gables and the porch pediment, plain entablature under the eaves, and flush stone lintels over the windows.  The single-story addition with fireplace on the east side dates from the mid-20th century.  This home is also known locally as the Colman house after Rev. Henry Colman, who was the director of the Evansville Seminary from 1867-1876.

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340 West Main

340 West Main – circa 1855 – Vernacular/Greek Revival

This modest two-story wood frame home shows some Greek Revival influence, especially the cornice returns.  It was built by Elijah Robinson, a Methodist minister who came to Evansville from Vermont in 1856.   His son Theodore became an internationally known impressionist painter whose work is exhibited in major museums in the United Stales and France.  Theodore Robinson (1852-1896) may be Evansville’s most famous resident.

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347 West Main

347 West Main – circa 1890 – Queen Anne

This large 2.5-story home with numerous additions shows mostly Queen Anne elements with a Classical Revival. Palladian window, cornice returns, and pedimented porch. The highly decorative shingle-like cladding in the gable ends and along the upper story is typical of late Queen Anne. Other distinctive details are the sunrise motif in the street-side gable end, two-story curved double bay, and the classically ornamented open porch with railing. Local builder Caleb Snashall modified and added to this home in order to “modernize” it. This home defines the western edge of the historic district.

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100 College Drive

100 College DriveEvansville Seminary/Wyler School

The Methodist-Episcopal Church and later the Free Methodists operated this co-educational preparatory school that influenced the moral and cultural flavor of Evansville for over 50 years. Illustrious graduates of the classical curriculum offered here include Senator Robert “Fighting Bob” Lafollette and University of Wisconsin President Charles R. Van Hise. These two men were key advocates of Progressive Era reforms that transformed civic affairs in Wisconsin and across the US at the turn of the 20th century. The seminary later became the Wyler School, a "semi-military" boy's preparatory school.

 

The oldest and most architecturally significant building is the three-story red brick main building with Italianate-influenced flattened hip roof, symmetrically façade, and paired brackets. The 8 over 16 windows with plain lintels and sills show some Greek Revival influence. The original four corner chimneys, central tower, and roof balustrade were removed nearly 100 years ago. The cream brick two-story building to the south (now attached) was built in 1884 and shows later Italianate influence in the decorative window hoods and brick string course. The original bell tower has been removed, but the pedimented gables remain. The third building, a three-story dark red brick classroom/gymnasium shoes some early modern influence and was built in 1917. The entire complex has been converted to apartments.

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262 West Church

262 West Church – 1864 – Italianate

This home was begun in 1864 by Jacob West, an early settler who was instrumental in starting the first school, the first church, and the first mail route in Evansville. In 1868, the home was purchased by John Andrews, who moved from Argyle with his wife, Sarah, and children so that his three sons and tow daughters could attend the Evansville Seminary. Although the boys moved away from Evansville as adults, Eleanora and Marilla Andrews spent many years in the home and were civic leaders in Evansville. Eleanora served as postmistress, and rural free delivery was begun during her administration. Marilla succeeded her sister, but also found time to edit two newspapers, teach grade school, and serve on the first library board in Evansville. The two women inherited the family home when their mother died in 1912, living there briefly each year until they returned to live in Evansville in 1934. The home was sold following Marilla’s death in 1942. This home is an excellent representative of the early Italianate style with square massing, low-pitched hip roof, scroll brackets and corner pilasters. Early 20th-century alterations, including a relocation of the front entry, were made in an architecturally appropriate manner.

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251 West Church

251 West Church – 1915 – Colonial Revival

The unusual cross-gambrel roof indicates that this home may have been built from a pattern-book design popular in the first two decades of the 20th century. The square shape, narrow wood siding, and pedimented central porch entry are typical of the Colonial Revival style. Note the alternating projecting and recessed first floor bays and the pent roof that divides the first form the second story. Both of the details were often seen in Late Queen Anne-style homes. However, the pre-formed rusticated concrete foundation blocks indicate an early 20th-century construction date.

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227 West Church

227 West Church – 1886 – Stick

Benjamin Hoxie, one of Evansville’s foremost carpenter/ architects, built this fine late Victorian era home for English immigrant and widow Ellen Biglow. Ellen and her children resided here until 1898 when Charles J. Pearsall, manager of the D. E. Wood Butter Company of Evansville, purchased the property. The Wood Butter Company owned several creameries in southwest Wisconsin and was a major employer in turn-of-the-century Evansville. It is said that Pearsall and his neighbors enjoyed racing their horse up and down Church Street. Note the former horse barn to the rear of the home. The steep gable roofs, and asymmetry, and elaborate scrollwork on the porch and balconies are typical of the Stick style. Note the single brackets and tall narrow windows often associated with the Italianate style and the multi-gabled hip roof common to the Queen Anne.

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127 West Church

127 West Church – circa 1865 – Italianate

For over one hundred years, this rambling two-story dwelling has been home to three prominent Evansville families related by blood and or marriage. The Rowley, Gray, and Waddell families all have connections to this home. A "mother-in-law" addition was built on the west side of the house in the 1890s by Alonzo C. Gray for his wife's mother. This addition shows some Queen Anne influence in the chamfered, or cut-away, façade and steeper pedimented roof. The main I-shaped section of the homes shows the mid-19th century Italianate influence with low pitched hip roof, rounded window hoods, and ornate bracketed veranda. The hexagonal projecting by on the east side is often seen on later Italianate homes and was likely added during an 1878 exterior remodeling. The home is currently a three-unit.

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608-882-2266 ph • Evansville City Hall• PO Box 76 • 31 S. Madison St. • Evansville, WI 53536