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Samuel Hinman House (Rasey House)

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1850, Chester Clark and Reverend Johnson. 517 Prospect St.

When construction of Beloit College’s first building, Middle College, pushed the fledgling institution to the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1840s, Professor Jackson Jones Bushnell hatched a fund-raising plan. The college would build a house, sell it, and use the proceeds to replenish the school’s endowment fund. To build the little house, Chester Clark and a man remembered only as the Reverend Johnson used stones from nearby Turtle Creek. They fashioned an attractive veneer, laying the dark gray cobbles on edge in horizontal courses, separated by tooled mortar joints. The use of the veneer made it possible to build the inner walls of inexpensive broken brick to save money. Local clergyman Samuel Hinman bought the house in 1851.

Cobblestone buildings—a vernacular tradition imported from New York—combined a folksy material with a more formal, classical treatment, expressed by such details as dressed stone blocks forming quoins at the corners and flat lintels and sills at the windows. The small gabled entrance porch is a later addition, probably built for Edwin L. Racey, a dairy farmer, who bought the house in the early 1900s. Today the building is the clubhouse for the local Daughters of the American Revolution.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Samuel Hinman House (Rasey House)", [Beloit, 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, 412-412.

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