The two-story, front-gabled part of this house is Wisconsin’s oldest known stovewood structure. Douglass built the dwelling about 1857 by laying short, fourteen-inch lengths of log in a mortar matrix to create solid walls that look like stacked firewood. He plastered the walls, but later owners cut an opening in the plaster in one room, where this building method can now be seen. The stovewood house recalls Fontana’s beginnings. Douglass bought property here at the west end of Geneva Lake in 1852, and by 1860 he was operating two gristmills. The mills attracted settlers, who built the village on land sold by Douglass. Sometime before 1873, profits from his land dealings and mills enabled Douglass to expand his house with a one-story, side-gabled wing of frame construction. A porch, graced by folk Victorian turned columns and scroll-sawn brackets, stretches the length of the wing. Carlos’s son Horace added a stuccoed rear wing around 1910. The house is now headquarters for the Geneva Lake Conservancy.
You are here
The Mill House (Douglass-Stevenson House)
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.