Winfield Scott Home
The Winfield Scott Home was built circa 1855 of the Greek Revival Style which was popular from 1825 – 1860. By the late 1850’s, the Greek revival was no longer a contending style. It continued to live only in the Great Lakes Region. Anthropologists note that Greek revival houses built after the mid-nineteenth century can be classified as “folk architecture.” The Greek revival style began on the East Coast in the 1820’s. As building progressed westward, there was considerable departure from the prototypical Greek forms, with aspects of folk art and local idiosyncrasies appearing in the interpretations. There were adaptations for every pocket-book, which for the leaner purses the Greek application was little ore than tacking pilasters onto a simple house with the suggestion of entablature and pediment of the eave end. The more important houses had columns, often squared, which stood away from the house and created a form that was new in America. With few exceptions, houses had been placed with its long sides facing the road. With Greek Revivals, the eave ends faced the road. Greek Revival buildings are formal, orderly, with symmetrical massing, regular fenestration, simple cornices, simple friezes, with returned eaves, corner pilasters, and entries decorated with a transom or side lights. The Winfield Scott Home is a two story wood framed Greek revival with a squared “main Block” and a low pitched hip roof. A two story “ell” projects, from the East elevation. The 2nd story of this ell appears to have been added later, due to a change in gable ornamentation (shingled) and later style window sash done probably 1870-1890’s. The South (back) elevation and south east corner have been altered with additions, but do maintain the overall appearance with wooden clapboards and corner trim. Despite these alterations, the homes basic Greek revival details remain, especially with the North (Front) and West elevations. The front of the Scott home is adorned with a wide frieze, and dimensional corner pilasters. Regular fenestration of the traditional six over six pane double hung sashes, still remain. There is a portico, supported by three piers with an entry at this North/East portion of the front. There is also an entry at the North/West portion of the front elevation, with a small pent roof porch, supported by turned posts. This entrance is flanked with sidelights and would be considered the main entry. There originally may have been a full portico that ran across the entire front facade of the main entrance. The Winfield Scott Home is not only distinguished as being a good example of the Greek Revival Style, but also as being one of the oldest residences in the City of Waupaca.
Upon entering the main entrance, you come directly into the foyer with the stairway on the left side. The staircase is original and appears to be pine. The main entrance is flanked with sidelights (windows). The front door appears original and is “oak grained.” To the right (West) of the foyer is a front parlor. This room has an original fireplace that is either mahogany or cherry. The fireplace maintains its beveled mirror and the original molded floral tiles. The entry door from the foyer to this parlor is also “oak grained.” All other trim and baseboards throughout the home are painted. From the parlor we enter into a South/West room which may have been a sitting room or dining area originally, the doorway between the parlor and this room appears to once had French Doors, which no longer exist. Moving into the South/East room, which may have been a sitting or dining area originally, contains the homes second fireplace. This fireplace is a slate mantle with faux painting to resemble black marble. This mantle is simple, with no mirror, but does maintain its original tiles as well. They are a mixture of the same molded floral design and colored brown and yellow slate tiles, as with the other fireplace. This room has a large picture style window (southeast) that is unoriginal. Moving back to the front of the home, the North/East room may have been a bedroom, a library, or possible a 2nd parlor. This room also has a front entry, that leads to a porch. To the rear (south) portion of the home is what is now a larger kitchen. This room or portions of this room have been added over time, but are fairly old. I believe the original kitchen may have been located here as well, but it is difficult to conceptualize with all of the numerous remodelings that have taken place. At the rear entry to the kitchen is also the basement stair, which was probably external originally. Portions of the basement (south) are newer cement block. The remaining foundation is field stone. The home has only a partial cellar, the north rooms are accessed by craw space. Interestingly the floor joints of the original cellar are full 8 inch pine timbers mortised into very heavy squared beams resting on the foundation. The ceiling height of the first floor rooms is 8 feet 8 inches. The floors are covered with carpeting, but are 6 inch tongue/groove pine underneath. Climbing the stairway to the 2nd story, you come to a long hallway/landing that allows access to the East, West and South bedrooms. Each have very small closets. The South bedroom also has access to an attic at the South/East corner of the 2nd story. The East second story bedroom is a very old addition to the home, probably 1880-‘s-1890’s. All of the trim and doors are painted pine. Many of the original room doors still exist. They are of a vertical two panel design, with external style locking mechanisms. The floors on the 2nd story are 6 inch wide pine. The ceiling height is just less than eight feet. The home is now in the process of being remodeled/restored by the Vergauwens, who plan to remain sensitive to the homes Greek Revival Style. The home is listed at 2,126 sq. ft.
The Scott Family are some of the earliest pioneers in Waupaca’s History. Capt. David Scott (a wealthy miller and merchant) and his wife, Maria, came to Waupaca County in 1849. His log cabin was built at the site of the old electric light plant. He took up a claim of 160 acres of Government land, part of that land was included within the Waupaca city limits. (Now the area of Granite, Scott and Franklin Streets towards the North, to the river). He was the first postmaster of the village, under the administration of President Buchanan. In 1850 Capt. Scott was the Chairman of the newly formed Settler’s Claim League Club, with his son, Winfield as Secretary. A handful of the early settlers formed this “Club” to help keep away Claim Jumpers. David Scott also served on the County Board in 1851 and the Assembly in 1853. In 1864 he returned to his old home in Attica, New York where he died in 1866. Winfield Scott was born in Attica, New York in March, 1823, he moved to Wisconsin with his parents in 1849, but located to Appleton in 1850. In 1855 he returned to Waupaca, where he engaged in the abstract and insurance business for Waupaca County. Winfield, a Democrat, served as a clerk of the court and the deputy county treasurer from 1859 through 1872. In this interim, he also served by appointment as deputy to several county officials. He was the Waupaca County Judge from 1873-1876, and after was deputy register of deeds. His collection of title abstracts, from his early career were of great value to lawyers and property owners. He was also a large independent dealer in real estate. At one time he was the owner of 200 or more lots in Waupaca (Scott Addition), besides other valuable properties and water privileges on the Waupaca River near the city’s North side. Winfield married Miss Sarah Cameron (1827-1907) of New York State. They had a family of nine children. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Waupaca Lodge #123 and the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. In 1894, one of his sons, Meritt B. Scott engaged in the abstract business with his father and became his successor, with his death on January 12, 1906.