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John Woy House

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1877, Frank Foote; 1988 addition. 200 Pine St.

A local builder-architect designed this Italianate residence with its tall narrow windows with segmental-arched drip moldings, a low-pitched hipped roof with deep bracketed eaves, an entrance porch with Tuscan columns, a two-story bay window, and a dramatic belvedere. Less typical is the way Foote disguised the wooden wall cladding to look like stone. He laid the oak siding flush, scoring it at regular intervals to simulate ashlar, and he placed imitation quoins at the corners. He also fashioned false voussoirs, using wedge-shaped wooden blocks to form a basket-handle arch around the double entrance doors. Thanks to Foote’s ingenuity, the Woy House resembles a masonry building, but it was built at a fraction of the cost.

Nevertheless, the house reflects the prosperity that wheat brought to Sparta in the 1870s and 1880s. Woy, who opened a grain elevator near the Chicago and North Western Railway depot in 1875, was one of several Spartans who made their money storing wheat. A number of gristmills, flour mills, and farm implement dealerships also flourished in Sparta before wheat growing declined in the late nineteenth century.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "John Woy House", [Sparta, 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, 364-364.

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