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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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Oliver House(Traci Schnell photo, 2008)

Oliver House, porch detail (Traci Schnell photo, 2008)

Oliver House, barn (Traci Schnell photo, 2008)

Oliver House, shed (Traci Schnell photo, 2008)

Oliver House, silo (Traci Schnell photo, 2008)

Owen and Margaret Oliver House
W314 S3986 State Highway 83, Town of Genesee, Waukesha County
Date of construction: circa 1880

The first Welsh settler in the Genesee area is said to have arrived in 1840. Shortly thereafter, Owen Oliver and his parents, all natives of North Wales, made the trek from Ohio to Wisconsin and settled in what became known as "the Welsh Hills of Waukesha County." Owen Oliver engaged in farming and, in 1860, he married teacher Margaret Rees who hailed from South Wales. In 1885, the Olivers purchased a 40-acre parcel with a house. Although the homeís actual date of construction is unclear and a component of it may date to as early as 1858, it is thought to have achieved its current appearance by the time of the Oliverís 1885 purchase.

The Oliver House is considered a fine rural, albeit abbreviated, version of the Italianate style of architecture. Simply described, the Oliver home is a boxy, frame-constructed form topped with a low-pitched, hipped roof and wide overhanging eaves. While it lacks the decorative brackets that adorn the eaves of high-style examples, the clapboard-sheathed Oliver house feature extensive sawn bracket trim on the front and side porches, as well as modest wooden window hoods on all elevations. A circa 1894 photograph confirms that the house has changed little over the last 100 years.

Historic agricultural outbuildings remaining on the property are a square stone silo, a frame horse barn, a fieldstone shed, and the foundation remains of another barn. They collectively date to between circa 1885 and 1915. The Oliver family remained on the property into the 1960s.

The house is a private residence. Please respect the privacy of the owners.


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