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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Freeman House (M. Svendsen photo, 2006)

Freeman House detail (M. Svendsen photo, 2006)

Freeman House interior (M. Svendsen photo, 2006)

Freeman, Roscius S. and Lydia R., House
220 North Third Street, River Falls, Pierce County
Architect: Arthur Symes
Date of construciton: 1908

Roscius and Lydia built this house in 1908 as a retirement home and resided in the house until deaths. Their son, "Rosh," and his wife Gertrude continued to live there after. Gertrude sold the house in 1972.

Rosicus Freeman operated a drug store in River Falls beginning in the 1870s. In 1898, his son R.W. "Rosh" Freeman joined him. The Freemans, and their wives, were civic and social leaders in River Falls during the late 19th and the early 20th centuries. Residential blocks around the Freeman House housed merchants, professionals, and individuals associated with the River Falls Normal School.

The house was constructed at a time of transition between architectural styles. It is a blend of the Queen Anne and the Shingle Style with Colonial Revival features. The Freeman House features classical ornamentation, including Ionic columns on the front porch and elaborately patterned windows. Groups of leaded and beveled glass windows with floral and geometric patterns decorated each fašade. A prominent conical roofed tower is centered above the wide front porch; the complex roof design features a central hipped mass with multiple hipped roof wings and dormers. An unusual sleeping porch (added circa 1918) with single hung pocket windows catches summer breezes. The interior features a cross-hall plan with a richly ornamented central staircase located at the rear of the house.

Local contractor Arthur Symes designed and constructed the house. Symes was responsible for the construction of dozens of houses and churches in River Falls during this period.

The Freeman House is a private residence and is not open to the public. Please respect the rights and privacy of the owners.

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