Wisconsin Historical Society

Property Record

210-212 W WATER ST

Architecture and History Inventory
210-212 W WATER ST | Property Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Brewster House Hotel
Contributing: Yes
Reference Number:29557
Location (Address):210-212 W WATER ST
Unincorporated Community:
Quarter Section:
Quarter/Quarter Section:
Year Built:1855
Additions: 1886
Survey Date:1976
Historic Use:hotel/motel
Architectural Style:Italianate
Structural System:
Wall Material:Brick
Architect:DR. C.C. GRATIOT
Other Buildings On Site:
Demolished Date:
National/State Register Listing Name: Water Street Commercial Historic District
National Register Listing Date:6/28/1990 12:00:00 AM
State Register Listing Date:1/23/1990 12:00:00 AM
National Register Multiple Property Name:
Additional Information:A three story, asymmetrical brick building that has a flat sloping roof and a projecting bracketed metal cornice, broken by a metal hood element in the center of the cornice and small finial elements at the sides. A stone lintel extends across the street level story, while the windows in the second and third levels have decorated corbelled window hoods. The brick work shows that the west lower two stories were built as a symmetrical building earlier (1855) than the third floor that was added in 1884, when the date was placed on the building. A two story brick veneered addition also was added at the rear. Although not terribly excellent architecturally, this building is essential to the commercial district because of its prominence as a large visual landmark, taking up a major part of the block. In addition, the essential architectural integrity of this 19th century structure has been maintained. This building has historical significance to the development of the Water Street Commercial Historic District. It was built in the early period of commercial development (pre Civil War). It took an additional importance in the 1880s when it was converted into a hotel. Henry Stephens built this two story building during the 1850s. Stephens came from Cornwall to Shullsburg by way of Canada and Mineral point in 1840. He mined lead successfully in the southern portion of Shullsburg. Besides his rich lead deposits, he was also a successful businessman. Many businesses have been located in the Stephen's Brick Block. Drs. William Law and A.A. Hayden had their offices on the second story. J.T. Brewster's Drug Store was located on the first story until it was moved across the street into the west portion of the Farmers and Merchants Bank in 1884. J.W. Longdon had a cash grocery store in this portion of the building. Stephens sold the building to J.M. Brewster Dry Goods store to the adjacent building east. In 1886, Brewster added the third story and converted the building to a hotel. There was also a tavern and dining room in the hotel. These were at times operated separately from the hotel. At the time the buliding was converted into the Brewster Hotel. Shullsburg was experiencing economic prosperity because of the addition of rail servcie and renewed interes in mining. Peter Baker managed the hotel for Brewster from the 1890s through the turn of the century. Frank Gerlach bought the hotel and ran it until 1922. Mrs. Gerlach managed the business for a shirt time after that. Art Stocker now owns the building. He runs the Brewster Liquor Store in the east portion. He plans to restore the west part.
Bibliographic References:(A) Wisconsin State Journal 7/24/1994. (B) Building inscription. (C) Seq. History of Shullsburg, 1827-1977 (Shullsburg: Badger Historical Society, 1977), p. 67. (D) Pick and Gad Newspaper, 1884-86. (E) Art Stocker's Abstract of the Property. (F) Shullsburg Tax Assessors Record Book, 1849-59. (G) C.W. Butterfield, History of Lafayette County, 1881, p. 740.
Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory, Division of Historic Preservation, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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