Cobblestone houses are a form of folk art. Craftsmen from upstate New York brought the technique to northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin when they migrated here in the mid-1800s. Consequently, Wisconsin and Illinois together boast more cobblestone houses than anywhere else but New York. Many of Wisconsin’s cobblestone houses are sited near bands of glacial moraine in communities named, as here, for places in upstate New York. When English immigrant Blackburn built this house on his 280-acre farm, he probably contracted with one of the transplanted New York masons. The house’s walls are rubble, but its front is faced in multicolored cobbles that protrude from horizontal lines of mortar. Like most cobblestone builders after 1835, this mason embraced the Greek Revival style, juxtaposing the playfulness of the stones with the formality of stone quoins and a pediment, pierced at its center by a triangular attic light. The house’s one-story wing once had a recessed porch with two columns, but the porch has since been walled in with siding and a bay window.
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Matthew and Caroline Blackburn House
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