HEARTSTONE HISTORIC HOUSE MUSEUM – 625 W Prospect Ave, Appleton, WI 54911, (920) 730-8204 –
Q-Tips say: Wonderful place to visit. The docents are well informed, funny, and full of facts. If they don’t know it – they say “I don’t know.” Mrs. Q says: As we all know, when we take these tours, they could tell us just about anything because most of us don’t really know all the history of a castle, etc. – that is why we are there, to learn. The Museum, I understand, decorates for the “Christmas Holidays” and is an awesome site – something to keep in mind if you are in Appleton during the winter. Not all artifacts are from the original owners but they are donated from others who lived during that time. One has to admire the wood floor, hand carved moldings, original lighting, fireplaces, etc. Mrs. Q says: Some have felt the presence of ghosts, but they are said to be “friendly ghosts”. Went on a beautiful summer day summer – we were the only ones on the tour.
Make sure you go down to the basement/gift store area. The down stairs exhibits are all: “hands on”. Try your “hands” or should I say, try your “Feet” at trying to get Mr. Edison to dance. We enjoyed our visit.
A BIT OF HISTORY:
HENRY ROGER’S HOME- HEARTHSTONE HISTORIC HOUSE MUSEUM – First house in the world lit with an Edison central hydroelectric station September 30, 1882. Hearthstone was lit on September 30, 1882 along with the Appleton Paper and Pulp Company and the Kimberly-Clark Vulcan Paper Mill. Only Hearthstone survives. This was the first time in the world that several buildings were lighted with a central hydroelectric station using the Edison system. Only one other central station in the nation existed. Thomas Edison’s Pearl Street Station in New York City began its operation September 4, 1882. Edison’s station was powered by steam and lit only businesses. Hearthstone’s rare 1882 Edison light switches and electroliers still are in operation. It is possible that Hearthstone is the sole surviving example of wiring and fixtures in their original location from the dawn of the electrical age. William Waters, a prominent, Fox Valley, turn-of-the-century architect, designed the stunning home. He gained national recognition for his Wisconsin building at Chicago’s 1893 World Columbian Exposition, and is noted for numerous prestigious private and public buildings throughout the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Wisconsin. Mr. & Mrs. Henry J. and Cremora Rogers and their daughter, Kitty, lived in their home approximately 11 years. They left Appleton in 1893. The house then changed hands nine times. In the 1930s it was a public restaurant called The Hearthstone because of its nine fireplaces. In 1986 the City of Appleton considered razing the building. A grass-roots effort by 13 or more Appleton residents raised enough money to purchase the property in December 1986, saving it from destruction. The group formed the Friends of Hearthstone, Inc. and opened the home as a museum emphasizing its Edison heritage. The building is being restored to the historic era 1880-1895. Today guests from throughout the country and the world tour this amazing example of early domestic electricity.