Wisconsin Historical Society: The Fifield Place Historic District listed on the State Register of Historic Places

Contact: Kendall Poltzer

Ashland, Ashland County, WI. – The Wisconsin Historical Society announces the listing of the Fifield Place Historic District on the State Register of Historic Places.

The Fifield Place Historic District consists of six residences situated on a single block; one house faces North Ellis Avenue, while the remaining five houses are lined up on the opposite side of the block. The Ellis Avenue house was built in 1883 by Stella and Samuel S. Fifield, who moved to Ashland in 1872, and established a newspaper, The Ashland Press, with his brother. A sudden, significant influx of residents occurred between 1885 and 1887 after the iron ore industry was established in the area, resulting in a housing shortage. Fifield improved his own home in 1887 to include a separate entrance to the upper level, where he rented rooms, mostly to public school teachers.

In response to the citywide housing shortage, Ashland experienced a building boom in 1887 that included the construction of 429 dwellings—the likes of which would never be seen again. Among those contributing to the construction boom was Samuel S. Fifield, who completed his term as Lieutenant Governor, re-platted his own property as Fifield Place and had a row of six cottages constructed in his backyard. The row of two-story, Queen Anne-style cottages were designed by Ashland architect William Webster. Instead of selling the houses to individuals, he operated them as rental properties. Cottage #6 was demolished in 2011-2012; however, the collection of cottages on Fifield Row represents a unique testament to Ashland’s early planning and development, and response to the 1887 building boom.

The State Register is Wisconsin’s official list of state properties determined to be significant to Wisconsin’s heritage. The State Historic Preservation Office at the Wisconsin Historical Society administers both the State Register and National Register in Wisconsin.

For additional information on the residences located within Fifield Place Historic District, as well as the State and National Register programs in Wisconsin, visit: www.wisconsinhistory.org.

About the Wisconsin Historical Society

The Wisconsin Historical Society, founded in 1846, ranks as one of the largest, most active and most diversified state historical societies in the nation. As both a state agency and a private membership organization, its mission is to help people connect to the past by collecting, preserving and sharing stories. The Wisconsin Historical Society serves millions of people every year through a wide range of sites, programs and services. For more information, visit wisconsinhistory.org.