Downtown 1958

Downtown 1958

Monday, June 16, 2014

George Stein House

This house at 712 Broad Street was built by German immigrant George Stein; however, the date of construction varies from source to source. Stein was born in Limburg, Germany in 1818 and came to the United States and, according to census information, settled in Menasha by no later than 1860. A number of construction dates have been cited for the house, beginning as early as 1858 (when the property was purchased by George Stein from the Doty family), to as late as between 1870 and 1874; another cited date of construction as 1863.

This two-story house is of Italianate design and is constructed of stone and topped with a hipped roof with overhanging eaves; a cupola rises from the center of the roof.

Family lore that has passed down from generation to generation is that the house was built with stone that was dredged from the Menasha Canal and the mortar was mixed by Stein himself. Also, Stein had reportedly originally contracted with a construction firm to build his home, but was unhappy with their work and did it himself. The 1860 census does identify Stein as a carpenter.

Stein died in 1896 and, thereafter, the house was passed on to his unmarried descendants who lived there until 1981.

Compare this to the Mitchell house, also known as the Rosch house, which sits at the northwest corner of Chute and Tayco Streets.  It is one of the oldest houses remaining in Menasha and is also of an Italianate renaissance design.  The house was built in 1854 by John Mitchell, owner of a door, sash, and blind factory.  In 1890, the house was purchased by John Rosch, one time mayor of Menasha and local druggist who brought the first soda fountain to the city . 

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