Whitewater Landmarks Commission launches banner project

Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Whitewater’s Main Street Historic District, the Whitewater Landmarks Commission has mounted a Main Street Historic District lamp post banner project to commemorate the event. Banners have been placed on the lamp posts in the historic district which extends from the corner of Fremont and Main Streets west to the corner of Prairie and Main Streets.

Whitewater’s Main Street Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. Carol Cartwright, current President of the Whitewater Historical Society and a member of the Landmarks Commission in 1989, submitted the application detailing the significance of the most prestigious residential neighborhood in Whitewater during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

To commemorate this event, the Landmarks Commission began the lamp post banner project in October, 2018 on a suggestion made by and encouragement from local historian, Kori Oberle. Funding for the project was provided by grants received from the Whitewater Community Foundation, the Whitewater Bureau of Tourism and the generosity of private donors who own properties within the district or support the efforts of the Landmarks Commission.

Whitewater businessman, Dave Salsaa provided a photograph for the background of the banner. The photo, taken at the Bassett House features a portion of the western brick wall. The bricks for the home which was built in 1858 for local merchant, Thomas Bassett, are reported to have been made in Whitewater.

While the Bassett House, which was bequeathed to the Whitewater Federation of Women’s Clubs in 1926 by Florence Bassett is one of the historic homes in the district, there are 12 other sites.

Included in that number are the locally landmarked structures: the Engebretsen-Dorr House (Victoria on Main); the George Esterly House (Delta Zeta Sorority); the Esterly Carriage House; the Sanger-Marsh House (Olm Law Office); the J.J. Starin House (Mercy Health Clinic); the Territorial Oak Site; the Nelson Salisbury House; the White Memorial Library (Cultural Arts Center); Birge Fountain; the Hamilton House Bed & Breakfast and the Smith-Allen House. In addition to locally landmarked structures are other residences and businesses of historic and architectural significance.

The Landmarks Commission has joined forces with the Whitewater Federation of Women’s Clubs to offer a tour of several venues in the Main Street Historic District on the “HERITAGE DAY TOUR” scheduled for June 23, 2019 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Proceeds from the tour will assist with the major restoration taking place at the Bassett House. For more information please contact the Whitewater Landmarks Commission chairperson at 262-458-2178.

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