Marston Farm Tour - Sites 19 - 25

Marston Farm Tour -- Site 19

Plough Inn
3402 Monroe Street

[PICTURE-Plough Inn]
photograph © State Historical Society
One of the oldest structures still standing in Madison

The sandstone part of this building was built in 1853 by German immigrants Frederick and Amelia Paunack as their residence. Frederick Paunack, who was a stonecutter, likely cut the sandstone from the nearby quarry on the site of today's Glenwood Children's Park [See Site 18]. The larger 1858 brick section was built by John Whare, a glass blower from England, and his wife, Isabella, who named the Plough Inn for the ploughs they sold from the side yard. The bricks came from Daniel Gorham's brick works near the Old Spring Inn.

Unusual features in the original building include a square, hand-carved fireplace; hand-hewn beams; 18-inch thick sandstone walls; wide plank maple floors; and on the second floor, a dance hall with joists placed farther apart than usual to give the floor extra spring.

For decades it was a tavern and stage coach stop on the old Monroe Road [See Site 31]. Over the years, it has also been called Halfway House, Swain House, and Frey House. It served as a private residence, writer's studio, and an antique and art shop before becoming part of the Arbor House Bed and Breakfast in the 1980s.

It was was designated a Madison Landmark in 1975 and is one of the oldest buildings still standing in Madison. The Arbor house has received an 'Orchid' award for its 'green' environmental practices in its architecture, interior design, landscaping and daily operations

Marston Farm Tour -- Site 20

Ward Home
717 Copeland Street

[PICTURE-Ward Home]
photograph © Shawn Schey
Home on a triple lot

The Ward home sits on property that was owned by Jeremiah Marston's family [See Site 25] from 1860 until 1907 when it was purchased by Leonard Gay's Wingra Land Company. The company platted the land in what was called the Glenwood plat in the Town of Madison, and by 1917 it was selling lots on the newly planned streets. That year, Madison banker Burt Ward and his wife, Elizabeth, purchased several lots on Copeland Street and built the house at 717. In 1920, Bertha West purchased the property and added two more lots to it in 1922.

Another member of the West family, Roxana West Swain, was the proprietor of the tavern at Monroe and Copeland Streets [See Site 19]. The lower part of Glenway Street was called "Swain Street" on the early Wingra Land Company plans.

Bertha West passed the home on Copeland Street to her daughter, Dorothy, who married Walter Batker in 1957. Dorothy created the wild flower garden on the northern part of the property before she died in 1977. When Walter died in 1995, the home was sold to a couple who renovated it, maintaining the home's original appearance, with a local craftsman reproducing the original wood shutters.

The home's style is Colonial revival. 'Colonial' describes the rectangular shape, multi-paned windows, shutters and simplicity of homes built before the Revolution. 'Revival' describes re-using a style from an earlier time.

Marston Farm Tour -- Site 21

Dudgeon Center for Community Programs
3200 Monroe Street

[PICTURE-Dudgeon Center for Community Programs]
Original neighborhood school

Long before this was the site for the Dudgeon Elementary School, American Indians used it for a camp. They grew corn next to Lake Wingra [See Site 8], hunted on the land where the Wingra Oak Savanna [See Site 12] stands today, and built mounds nearby, including those on the Edgewood Campus [See Site 3]. From 1871 to 1927 the Marston Home [See Site 25] stood here until it was moved to make way for the Dudgeon Elementary School, built in 1927 to accommodate growing numbers of children in the rapidly developing area.

The school, majestically gracing the hill overlooking the Wingra Oak Savanna across Monroe Street, was named for Richard Ball Dudgeon, Superintendent of Madison Public Schools from 1891 to 1922. The architect, Edward Tough, chose a Gothic style featuring pointed arches, heraldic decoration, tower-like entrances and leaded windows. Remaining detailing inside includes one gargoyle of an original pair and three tiles depicting Old King Cole characters (see photo), which adorn the fireplace in the original kindergarten room. In addition, there remain the single tiles of individual animals, carefully placed at child's eye level at each of the drinking fountains.

[PICTURE-Old King Cole]
Old King Cole

The school's outdoor playing fields were the pride of published school board reports, as the 1920s were the heyday of the playground movement. The building's second story was added in 1938 by the Madison firm Balch and Lippert under a public works program intended to combat the Great Depression.

Marston Farm Tour -- Site 22

Glenwood Moravian Community Church
725 Gilmore Street

[PICTURE-Glenwood Moravian Community Church]
Church built to look like a house

In 1928, Moravians began meeting in the Dudgeon School after Otto Heise, a former Moravian pastor turned insurance salesman, moved from Green Bay to Madison. By 1929, the congregation had grown to about 50 and a small chapel seating 100 people was built at 725 Gilmore Street in 1930 to look like a house in case the church did not succeed. The north sanctuary section built in 1948 was designed by Hugo C. Haeuser, who had designed several Lutheran churches in the Midwest. A large oak harvested from the lot was used for a pulpit, lectern and worship center in the new sanctuary. The education wing to the south was designed by Graven, Kinney and Iverson and was built in 1963.

The Moravian denomination began as the Bohemian Brethren in 1457 (now part of the Czech Republic), making it the second oldest Protestant denomination. There are over 250,000 Moravians worldwide. The denomination's motto emphasizes Christian faith rather than doctrine and creeds: "In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things love." It is distinguished from other Protestant organizations in its lavish use of music and hymns. The church's trombone choir is well known.

The Glenwood Moravian Community Church considers its building a community resource. It has always been active in the neighborhood, hosting neighborhood association meetings, scout groups, senior groups and the Cooperative Nursery. According to Mrs. Gertrude Wilson, who taught at the school for twenty-seven years (1936-1963), a typical class consisted of thirty-six pupils, and all the children went home for lunch. At peak enrollment in 1954, 574 children were enrolled from kindergarten through eighth grade. During the 1960s, enrollment declined as more young families moved farther west and fewer children resided in the neighborhood.

Dudgeon School survived as a public school for only 44 years, closing in 1971 when the newly built Thoreau School opened in the adjacent Nakoma neighborhood. Threatened with the possibility of the building being demolished to make way for unwanted development or being turned over to usage which would generate undesirable infiltrating traffic, the neighborhood rallied to keep it functioning in an acceptable alternative usage. Out of the effort to preserve the building and its use for community and educational services, the neighborhood established its successful association, saved its school building, and got a new park on the former school grounds.

The City of Madison owns the building and leases it to the Dudgeon Center for Community Programs, whose approximately half dozen tenants operate programs which educate and serve over 300 children each year. Wingra School (a progressive K-8 alternative school) and New Morning Nursery (a parent-run cooperative for pre-school aged children) have been tenants since 1972. In addition, Child Development, Inc. (a day care center) and Community Coordinated Child Care were long-term tenants from the early 1970s to the early 1990s.

Marston Farm Tour -- Site 23

Gingko Trees
3106 Gregory Street

[PICTURE-Gingko leaves]
photograph © Kathryn Lederhause
Trees that are living fossils

City crews planted these two trees approximately twenty years ago, but Ginkgo biloba is a plant species that has survived over a million years. Gingkos first grew in Japanese and Chinese temple gardens.

The fan shaped leaves grow all along the branches at the ends of tiny shoots. The leaves turn bright yellow in late autumn and fall from the tree almost simultaneously. A resident at a neighboring house has watched the fully leafed tree begin to drop its first leaves. In minutes the air was full of leaves, and 30 minutes later the branches were bare.

There are both male and female trees. The trees on Gregory Street include one of each. However, females are often removed because the fleshy parts of the seeds smell like rancid butter. The City no longer plants Gingko trees because they are expensive.

The seeds are edible when roasted and the leaves are used in herbal extracts. Studies show that taking Ginkgo may increase peripheral circulation. The tree is resistant to insect, disease and pollution damage.

Marston Farm Tour -- Site 24

Gay Home
702 Baltzell Street

[PICTURE-Gay Home]
photograph © Daryl Sherman
House originally built with a garage big enough for a bus

The home at 702 Baltzell Street was built in 1924 by Len R. and Caryl Gay. In 1907, Len's father platted the Wingra subdivision, an area containing 400 lots within the original Marston farm [See Site 25]. A portion of the subdivision became part of Forest Hill Cemetery, but currently serves as Glenway Golf Course. To persuade buyers to purchase lots, Len started a five-cent bus service from the Capitol Square to Monroe Street. A wooden-sided vehicle, seating 16-20 passengers, was parked in the garage at 702 Baltzell Street or on the vacant lot next door.


Len, his father, and four brothers were all in the real estate business [See Site 26]. Their father, Leonard W. Gay, built Madison's first "skyscraper" (nine stories) in 1914-15 at 16 N. Carroll Street.

Marston Farm Tour -- Site 25

Marston Home
749 Baltzell Street

photograph © Shawn Schey
Brick home that was moved in 1927

The home currently at 749 Baltzell Street had been the farmhouse for the Jeremiah and Miranda Marston farm, which included a substantial portion of the area which is now the Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood. As a result, abstracts for homes between Commonwealth Avenue and Glenway Street and between Forest Hill Cemetery and Lake Wingra all include reference to Jeremiah Thorndyke Marston.

Marston came to Wisconsin in 1851 from Vermont with his close friend, Levi Vilas. The two men remained close friends and eventually they both purchased farms on Lake Wingra - Vilas on the south shore [See Site 1] and Marston on the north.

The Marstons purchased their farm in 1861 from Jonathan Larkin [See Site 5]. In 1871, they built an American "four square" brick farmhouse where the lower level of the Dudgeon Center for Community Programs playground stands today [See Site 21]. A barn, displaying the name 'Spring Grove', stood on the opposite side of Monroe Road [See Site 31] where the Wingra Oak Savanna stands today [See Site 12]. At that time, several American Indian mounds still rested undisturbed on the hill nearby [See Site 2]. During the farm's peak, Marston produced vegetables, berries, tobacco, oats, timothy, clover and wood. He also raised cattle, horses and pigs.

Marston was a literary man, a philosopher, a lawyer, a judge, and a merchant. In 1855, he and Horace Tenney founded and edited the Wisconsin Patriot, an early Madison newspaper. Marston's wife, Miranda, was well-known in the community for her deeds of kindness and benevolence. The Marstons had two daughters: Mary Jane, who married Daniel Kent Tenney; and Emily, who married Charles Sandbourne. Marston also had a son, Thomas, who married Anna (Annie) Gorham, the daughter of James and Helen Gorham, who owned and operated the Spring Inn, built in 1854 and still standing across from the duck pond on Nakoma Road.

Marston died in 1883 and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery. His obituary refers to him as "a great reader, a free thinker, and a profound philosopher... remarkable for the keenness of his wit and great satire."

After Marston's death, Thomas and Annie stayed at the farm with Miranda. She died in 1891, but Thomas and Annie continued to farm the land until 1907 when they sold the farm to Leonard Gay and the Wingra Land Company. Thomas and Annie then moved to 206 N. Spooner Street.

When Dudgeon Elementary School was built in 1927, Michael M. and Laura Burnham Shirk moved the home, with its tall narrow windows, to its present location. Later, its front entrance was changed to the side of the house, its porch enclosed, its windows altered to remove the lintels, and a garage constructed underneath. In 1999, it was still possible to see the sunken spots where the house most likely stood in the lawn in front of the Dudgeon building.

CAN YOU FIND... A Bridge Built to Enhance Pedestrian Circulation?

Allen Street and Edgewood Avenues each used to end at the Illinois Central Railroad tracks. As the surrounding neighborhoods filled with new homes, more and more children began trespassing and crossing the tracks to get to Randall School and the Edgewood Campus.

In 1928, the City budgeted $50,000 to build a bridge over the tracks connecting Allen Street and Edgewood Avenue, but the project proved controversial. Property owners on Fox and Commonwealth Avenues opposed cutting into their lots. There were only two or three trains per day, they and other opponents argued, and why couldn't people walk the few extra blocks to the Spooner Street bridge? However, led by influential 10th district Alder Thomas D. Williams, advocates of the new Allen-Edgewood viaduct won out.