One of Jerome Nelson’s mysteries is his house. The Commemorative Biographical Record of the Upper Wisconsin Counties (1895) calls it his “elegant home,” but we don’t know much else about it.
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If he began living in what became Nelsonville in 1855 or 1856, he must have lived in some kind of house. If it was at all typical of houses of its day, it was probably built of wood in a Greek Revival or Federal style: simple, single-ridgepole architecture, with symmetrical placement of doors and windows and with small-pane windows. It also might have had the earmarks of the ancient Greek temples that were its inspiration: a full pediment or triangle in the main gable, or a partial one with the short ends of the base of the triangle (cornice returns) jutting toward each other from the gable ends; simple, square wooden columns; false columns or pilasters on the corners, to cover the raw board-ends; and cornices over the windows.