Above: The Wilson Place decked out for a holiday celebration when it was the James Huff Stout residence.
Below: The Wilson Place Mansion today.
The Wilson Place Mansion has a history as rich and colorful as that of Menomonie and Dunn County. Built in 1859 by Captain William Wilson, it was a originally a large colonial-style house with a pillared porch. Captain Wilson, was a principal in the Knapp, Stout & Co., Company, founder and first mayor of the city of Menomonie, and the area's first state senator. In 1875, he enclosed the 22-acre estate with a sandstone wall, part of which fronts the museum today.
When Wilson died in 1892, it became the home of his daughter Angelina and son-in-law James Huff Stout, another principal in the lumber company, and civic leader. The couple extensively remodeled and expanded the home into a Queen Anne style mansion. Additions included 17 marble fireplaces, a ballroom, a carved mahogony staircase and wrap-around porches on all three floors.
In the early 1920s, Wilson's grandson, George Wilson LaPointe, Jr. and his wife Irene took posession of the home. LaPointe too, was a lumberman and owned yards across Wisconsin and Michigan. The LaPointes reduced the size of the house by two-thirds to create a Mediterranean style villa --- the building we see today.
Today the home is The Wilson Place Mansion, and provides a glimpse into the lives of Wilson and his descendants in each of the house's three major periods. The furnishings have been retained at this site since 1846. A guided tour of the museum provides visitors with a more detailed history of the home and its three generations of Wilsons.