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Wisconsin National Register of Historic Places

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1200 block Summit Ave.

Paine Thrift Bank

Paine Barn

Paine Lumber Company Historic District
Oshkosh, Winnebago County
Dates of construction of contributing buildings: 1925-1928

The Paine Lumber Company Historic District is an early 20th century industrial community-within-a-community. In 1853 Edward L. Paine founded the lumber mill that his sons renamed the Paine Lumber Company. Edward Paine set up his business on the east bank of the Fox River in Oshkosh. With the arrival of the railroad in 1859, Oshkosh became a lumbering industry leader in the state of Wisconsin and nationally. The progression of the trade led to rapid growth in the Oshkosh community.

The construction of these row houses for Paine Lumber Company employees was the result of the region's rising population and the philosophy of Edward Paine that labor was a commodity which should be paid for with the least amount of capital. The housing was intended for new immigrant arrivals who were willing to work at a lower wage. The complex consists of six buildings with six apartments in each. In addition to the housing, Nathan Paine created the Paine Thrift Bank in order to finance his operations and pay the laborers.

The local architectural firm of Auler and Jensen designed the bank building. This small scale building exemplifies the firm's work in the Neo-Classical style, a favored style for banks of the period. A central pavilion with an entablature supported by four Ionic columns, large round arch windows and a doorway topped by an ornamental floral cartouche, which includes the Paine crest, all enliven its classically influenced appearance.

Other buildings in the district include a city fire station, a barn originally used for draft horses at the lumber plant, and a dock wall built by Nathan Paine to commemorate his trip to Europe.

The buildings in this district are private property. Please respect the privacy of the residents.


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