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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Farnham House (T. Heggland photo, 2008)

Farnham House (T. Heggland photo, 2008)

Farnham House (T. Heggland photo, 2008)

Farnham House (T. Heggland photo, 2008)

Fred and Lucia Farnham House
553 W. James Street, Columbus, Columbia County
Builder: Richard D. Vanaken
Construction Date: 1867

The exceptionally intact Farnham House is one Columbus's finest Italianate Style houses. The original owners were Frederick F. and Lucia Farnham. Fred Farnham came to Columbus from the state of New York in 1847 and became one of city's earliest merchants. By 1850, he had achieved enough success to return to New York and marry Lucia Marsh. After the couple relocated to Columbus, Farnham took Lucia's brother-in-law, James Allen, into his firm, which was renamed Farnham, Allen & Co. Together, the two men made their firm into one of the city's most successful wholesale and retail produce establishments and their store building is still extant and is located at 111 E. James Street.

By 1867, Farnham was wealthy enough to build a new house for his family on a long, narrow corner lot that faced W. James Street, one of the city's most important streets. Columbus carpentry contractor Richard D. Vanaken built the four-bedroom, cream brick-clad house. Like a number of the community's other Italianate Style houses of this period, it has a two-story-tall cruciform plan main block and a shorter two-story rear kitchen wing.

The Farnham House is a private residence. Please respect the owners' rights and privacy.

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