Friday, January 26, 2018

Two More Suspects

There were two other houses in Oshkosh I suspected of being the work of William Waters and I was not alone in my suspicions.  Both were not far from each other and very near the university campus. The first one was on Elwood Avenue near Scott Street.  It’s original house number was 188 Elm Street and was first listed in the city directory of 1891-93 as the residence of Orin H. Wetlaufer the shipping clerk at the McMillen Company.  
The house displayed several features often associated with the work of Mr. Waters, most notably the long narrow windows in the gables and a decorative apron beneath a small window near the front door.  There was a second-floor porch or balcony above the front porch and bay window along the south face.  The house was likely built in 1890 as Mr. Wetlaufer’s address in 1889 was number 44 Willow Street.
The other suspect was the home of Mr. Louis Rasmussen on Wisconsin Street near the intersection with Scott Street.  Louis was a mason and it was perhaps in 1894 that his house was erected as there was no listing in the directory of 1893 but the first list came in 1895.  This house also exhibited long narrow windows in the gables and a porch on the upper floor, elements common the both buildings.  At some point after 1903 the front porch of the Rasmussen house was enlarged, as the Sanborn Map from that year still showed the original footprint.  Both houses were resided which destroyed much of the authentic architectural detail.          

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