In the mid-nineteenth century, when Watertown was one of southeastern Wisconsin’s leading industrial centers, one of its fashionable neighborhoods stretched along S. Washington Street. Among the important industrialists living here was George B. Lewis, founder of a wood products company. Around 1900 Claude and Stark designed his two-story, Colonial Revival house at 408 S. Washington, giving the clapboard house a balustraded porch with Ionic columns and dormers with broken pediments in the hipped roof.
In contrast, the Henry Mulberger House (311 S. Washington) is Second Empire, a style that came into vogue just before the Civil War. Many of Wisconsin’s well-to-do updated their Italianate houses in this French-inspired style. Mulberger, an attorney, refurbished his house around 1876 with a mansard roof, off-center tower, dormers, and prominent window hoods. The house’s porch is more recent. To the rear is a Victorian-era carriage house, graced by a polychromatic radiating-arched doorway at the second level and a cupola atop the roof. The Jesse Stone House at 300 S. Washington, built in 1869 and expanded in 1876, also found new life in the Second Empire mode. Architect Joseph L. Kern gave the house its requisite mansard roof with arched dormers and wide, bracketed overhangs at the eaves. The window heads form basket-handle arches, while the off-center entrance porch features bell-cast eaves and a roof-deck bounded by metal cresting in a floral motif. Near the house stands a two-story brick carriage house with a shaped gable, built c. 1893. An ornamental iron fence with an elaborate gate bounds the yard. Jesse Stone served as lieutenant governor from 1898 until 1902.
The Gustav Hafemeister House (c. 1912; 202 S. Washington) is a one-and-a-half-story bungalow. The wood-shingled cladding and randomly laid, uncut stone in the gable-wall chimney lend this house the rustic feeling characteristic of the Craftsman style. Shingled piers support a full-length porch above a random-coursed stone railing wall, and the overhanging eaves of the wide front-facing gable embrace a ribbon of windows.