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Ole and Lena Roe House

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1892. 404 S. 5th St.

A son of Norwegian pioneers, Ole Roe was one of Stoughton’s leading tobacco merchants and, later, mayor and state legislator. He built perhaps the finest house in town. Dominating the Queen Anne composition is a square corner tower with a double-bracketed cornice, patterned shingles, pedimented dormers, and a faceted, tin-shingled dome. The original porches were equally elaborate. The one on the house’s east side retains its spindle columns and lacy pierced woodwork, but a gaudier porch on the north side gave way to a stucco replacement sometime between 1912 and 1926. Nothing has detracted from the house’s kaleidoscopic color scheme, however. Red sandstone and brick flourishes contrast with cream brick walls, and windows in the tower-like pavilion have stained glass centered on a shell motif and punctuated by glass jewels. The interior is similarly exuberant, boasting oak parquetry, cabinetry, moldings, and spindled screens, along with two marble fireplaces. This opulence reflected not just Roe’s wealth but also his importance to the community.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Ole and Lena Roe House", [Stoughton, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 473-474.

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