Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

JEWETT AND LANCASTER STS.

Architecture and History Inventory
JEWETT AND LANCASTER STS. | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
NAMES
Historic Name:Mitchell-Rountree House
Other Name:Mitchell-Rountree House
Contributing:
Reference Number:16168
PROPERTY LOCATION
Location (Address):JEWETT AND LANCASTER STS.
County:Grant
City:Platteville
Township/Village:
Unincorporated Community:
Town:
Range:
Direction:
Section:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
PROPERTY FEATURES
Year Built:1837
Additions:
Survey Date:2004
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Greek Revival
Structural System:
Wall Material:Limestone
Architect:
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished?:No
Demolished Date:
DESIGNATIONS
National/State Register Listing Name: Mitchell-Rountree House
National Register Listing Date:2/23/1972 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/1/1989 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
NOTES
Additional Information:A 'site file' exists for this property. It contains additional information such as correspondence, newspaper clippings, or historical information. It is a public record and may be viewed in person at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation. VIRGINIA COLONIAL STYLE BUILDING. HABS WI-28-4. THE PHOTO CODES FOR THIS PROPERTY ARE 75 D 10/26-31, GT 1/9,10. THE HABS NUMBER IS WI 28-4.

VIRGINIA COLONIAL, BUFF LIMESTONE, RANDOM ASHLAR HOUSE WITH END CHIMNEYS BUILT IN 1837 FOR THE REV. SAMUEL MITCHELL. MITCHELL WAS A VIRGINIA NATIVE WHO MOVED TO PLATTEVILLE IN 1836. He was a soldier during the Revolutionary War. He also was the father-in-law of Maj. John Rountree. Mitchell lived here until his wife's death in 1842. He died in Missouri in 1855. Rountree eventually owned the building. THE CURRENT OWNER OF THIS DWELLING IS THE GRANT COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Built in 1837, the Mitchell-Rountree House reflects the migration of Southerners to the mining district of the new Wisconsin territory. Virginia native Rev. Samuel Mitchell built this stone residence in the Georgian manner that was typical of the Tidewater region but rare--perhaps unique--in Wisconsin. During the British colonial period, the most common type of house had been a one-story cottage with end chimneys. As fashion shifted in the eighteenth century, many people updated their colonial cottages with gabled dormers and double-hung sashes. The Mitchell-Rountree House appears to be a transplantation of that amalgam. The one-and-one-half-story house is constructed of dolomite, a yellow limestone, laid in random ashlar, fitted closely. The main facade is symmetrical, with two double-hung windows flanking a central entry. The five-light transom over the paneled double-doors is characteristic of Georgian architecture, as are the trio of pedimented dormers. A single-story ell to the rear houses the kitchen and dining room.

Tradition holds that Major John H. Rountree, who founded Platteville, built this house for Mitchell, his father-in-law. Later, it became the home of Rountree’s daughter, Laura Rountree Smith, an author of children’s stories. It now serves as a museum, operated by the Grant County Historical Society.


ACCORDING TO THE INTENSIVE SURVEY REPORT, THIS BRICK COTTAGE IS ARCHITECTURALLY SIGNIFICANT AS THE EARLIEST KNOWN AND THE MOST ELABORATE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE EARLY SMALL BRICK COTTAGES IN PLATTEVILLE.
Bibliographic References:Bocobal Dial 5/13/1999. Cuba City Tri County Press 5/13/1999. Platteville Journal 4/13/1999. Platteville Journal 5/19/2004. Buildings of Wisconsin manuscript.
RECORD LOCATION
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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