Parley Eaton House
Parley Eaton House 105 Jail Alley
The Parley Eaton House restoration was an early and ambitious one. The distinctive Federal style house was built by Parley Eaton (1791-1860) between 1846 and 1848. Around 1850, Eaton added a small one-story extension on the west side that he used as his law office. The house was noted for its “stepped parapet” on each gable end.
Eaton served in the War of 1812, studied law in New York and came west. In 1836, he was in Mineral Point where he practiced law and was active in the political life of the village. Eaton’s youngest daughter sold the house in 1874 to Nichols Treweek, who “modernized” the house by removing the step gables and adding a porch on the south side of the building. Subsequent owners rented the house as three units until 1969 when Spencer and Vicki Rotzel bought it for $5,000.
The Rotzel’s came to Mineral Point from Minneapolis. Spencer was the elementary school art teacher and Vicki a social worker. Immediately befriended by like-minded people in Mineral Point, they were encouraged and tutored in historic restoration by Bob Neal and Edgar Hellum, Max and Ava Fernekes, and John and Anne Jenkins. Spencer hauled brick from a demolished building in Platteville to use in rebuilding the gable steps. They removed the front porch, repointed the brick walls and restored the windows and shutters. Using measurements from a barn on the other side of the town dump, Spencer reconstructed a barn on the north side of the grounds.
In 1973, the restored building was purchased by Bert and Jean Bohlin for their retirement home and the Needlewood Gallery. The Bohlin’s were active supporters of the Mineral Point Historic District. In 1985, Bert wrote a chapbook entitled, The Parley Eaton House.
- A narrative about the Parley Eaton House : being a compendium of things well known to little known to totally obscure related to the house on Jail Alley in historic Mineral Point, Wisconsin : built in 1846-47 / written and compiled by Bert Bohlin.
- Wisconsin Historical Society - Property Record
- UW Madison, BLC 2010 Summer Field School - Interpretation