Craig Ave. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society

National or State Registers Record

Craig Ave.

National or State Register of Historic Places
Craig Ave. | National or State Registers Record | Wisconsin Historical Society
Historic Name:Willard, Frances, Schoolhouse
Reference Number:77000054
Location (Address):Craig Ave.
Frances Willard Schoolhouse
Janesville, Rock County
Date of Construction: 1853

The Frances Willard Schoolhouse is one of the earliest remaining one-room schoolhouses in southern Wisconsin. To further local children's education in a "real" school, Josiah Willard and neighbor David Inman built the schoolhouse in 1853 along the banks of the Rock River. Today, the school is named after the famous local Temperance activist Frances Willard, daughter of Josiah Willard. Citizens named the school for her because of her role as a leader and fighter for morality and equal rights. She attended school as one of the first students, and later became the teacher.

It is a small Greek Revival style building with the triangular, front-gabled pediment, returned cornices, and added frieze board that characterize the style. Three large windows on either side light the interior. The main façade has a single entrance in place of the original separate boys' and girls' entrances. Its plain, brown, clapboard siding gave it the nickname the "little brown nut," where students spent from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or later, sometimes having to eat dinner at the school during the early winter nights.

Entering the building, the single room once held rows of desks separated by gender facing a raised teacher's platform.

Now located on the 4-H Fairgrounds, it continues to teach today's students about education.

Period of Significance:1900-1924
Period of Significance:1850-1874
Area of Significance:Education
Area of Significance:Social History
Applicable Criteria:Person
Historic Use:Education: School
Architectural Style:Greek Revival
Resource Type:Building
Historic Status:Listed in the National Register
Historic Status:Listed in the State Register
National Register Listing Date:10/05/1977
State Register Listing Date:01/01/1989
Number of Contributing Buildings:1
Number of Contributing Sites:0
Number of Contributing Structures:0
Number of Contributing Objects:0
Number of Non-Contributing Sites:0
Number of Non-Contributing Structures:0
Number of Non-Contributing Objects:0
National Register and State Register of Historic Places, State Historic Preservation Office, Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison, Wisconsin

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