Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

4167 MAIN ST

Architecture and History Inventory
4167 MAIN ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Alexander Noble House
Other Name:Noble House Museum
Reference Number:26087
Location (Address):4167 MAIN ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1868
Survey Date:19922014
Historic Use:house
Architectural Style:Front Gabled
Structural System:Unknown
Wall Material:Clapboard
Architect:Alexander Noble
Other Buildings On Site:1
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Noble, Alexander, House
National Register Listing Date:2/23/1996
State Register Listing Date:8/4/1995
National Register Multiple Property Name:
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 State Historical Society, Division of Historic Preservation. Garage, not contributing.

Historical Background

This house was the home of Alexander Noble and his family. Noble was responsible for platting the town eastward from about where the Community Building stands and operated a blacksmith shop in town.

Alexander Noble was born November 29, 1829 in Edinburgh Scotland. In 1837 he moved to Canada with his parents. In 1856 he moved to Chambers Island from Washington County, New York. After moving to Wisconsin he pursued blacksmithing and farminjg. In 1862 he received a land grant for a parcel of land including this property. In 18981 he owned 200 acres of land in Door County. He was active in local politcs, holding many different offices including Chairman of the Town from 1875 to at least 1881. He married Emily Vaughn of New York in 1852. She died twenty years later at age thirty-eight. From that marriage were twon daughters and one son. Noble remarried in 1873, to Maria Campbell of Mackinaw. That marriage also produced two daughters and one son.

Alexander Noble bought this property (lots 2 and 3 of Block 4) from Asa and Eliza Thorp in 1862. There was originally a small house on the property which was destroyed by fire. In 1868, he built and probably designed this house, which originally had ten rooms, six of which were bedrooms. Until 1897, the interior walls were bare. Then Mrs. Noble purchased wallpaper from the Lundberg's store across the street which is still on the walls. When he died in 1912, the property passed to his widow Maria Noble and his children Gertrude, Alex, Nellie, and Robert. Robert Noble left his interest in the property to Gertrude Howe in his will, he died in 1959. The other interest in the property was left to Gertrude Howe and Donnell Howe in 1962.

Historical Significance

The house at 4167 Highway 42 is historically significant as the only remaining building in Fish Creek associated with a significant commmunity member - Alexander Noble. It is the home of a man who contributed to the development of the village both physically by platting the village, and through his political services.

Architectural Description

This simpled gable front residence has design influences from the Greek Revival (in the wide cornice boards under projecting eaves) and the Italianate windwo lintels and the porch posts (the porch wa added sometime after initial construction).

Few alterations have been made to the property, none of which compromise its integrity.

Architectural Significance

This is the oldest house on its original site in Fish Creek. The Asa Thorp cabin, an older structure, has been moved several times, rechinked, re-roofed, and is now featured at Polyventures Founders Square in a setting completely unrelated to its original surroundings. The Noble House, on the other hand, retains integrity of location - as it has never been moved; of design, alteration; and of setting, feeling and association - as the entire block, except for the Commercial Building at 4153 Highway 42, historically associated with the property is still associated with the property (and the commercial building was constructed within the period of significance).

Resurveyed March 2014; no visible changes. Museum hours 10-3:00 Tuesdays-Sundays. 4167 Main Street
920-868-2091, www.historicnoblehouse.org, https://www.facebook.com/GibraltarHistoricalAssociation/
Bibliographic References:A. Edward and Lois Schreiber, editors, Fish Creek Voices, An Oral History of a Door County Village, (Sister Bay, WI: Wm. Caxton Ltd), 1990. B. Door County Almanak No. 5: Tourism, Resorts, Transportation, (Sister Bay, WI: The Dragonsbreath Press), 1990. C. History of Northern Wisconsin, containing and account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive sketch of its Counties, Cities, Towns, and Villages, their improvements, industries, manufactories; biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; views of county seats, etc. (Chicago: The Western Historical Company), 1881. D. Door County Register of Deeds, book/page; P150/310, P150/206, P16/379, 4/512, D/48. E. Door County Buildings. STURGEON BAY DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE 11/17/1995. STURGEON BAY DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE 12/12/1995. GREEN BAY PRESS GAZETTE 12/17/1995. STURGEON BAY DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE 1/12/1996. STURGEON BAY DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE 12/26/1995. STURGEON BAY DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE 5/14/1996. STURGEON BAY DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE 9/20/1996. Sturgeon Bay Door County Advocate 7/31/1998. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 8/23/1998. www.historicnoble.org
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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