This house expresses a Germanic folk idiom common throughout southeastern Wisconsin’s countryside: fieldstone construction. The Pinions, immigrants from Prussia, built this vernacular house for their family, which included their seven children and Nickolas’s mother. Four rooms are on each floor, arranged more or less symmetrically. Fieldstone is abundant throughout this glaciated area of the state. During the most recent advance of the continental ice sheet, glaciers deposited tons of basalt, granite, and quartzite rubble. Many immigrants to Wisconsin, particularly those from the German states, were well acquainted with fieldstone, since most of northern Europe was glaciated land and glacial debris was a popular building material there. Instead of splitting the stones to create a flat surface, the builder used the stones just as he found them, laying them in a heavy mortar matrix. This picturesque construction contrasts with the more sophisticated double-course of bricks that forms segmental-arched drip moldings over the door and windows.
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Nickolas and Katerina Pinion House
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