Williams Free Library

Also known as: Dodge County Historical Society
105 Park Ave., Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

Heavy sandstone Romanesque building that housed Beaver Dam's Williams Free Library for over 100 years.


Overview Looking Southwest

That's the old Milwaukee Road depot on the far left side of the photograph, which now houses the Chamber of Commerce. It is also a NRHP listing and is shown on this site.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in July 2012




The website of the Dodge County Historical Society quotes a local newspaper with a better description of the building than I can possibly provide:

"The building is Romanesque in style and its beauty and massive symmetry grows upon the mind as one studies it. The foundation, which rises a number of feet above the ground, is of Wauwatosa limestone, the superstructure is of Cleveland sandstone. A massive square tower with open belfry stands at the northwest corner. The roof is slate, crested with terracotta; the windows, plate glass, except that a rich stained glass above the bay window add to the beauty of the front. The floors of the first floor are of tiling and hardwood. Red birch was used for the interior finishing and the effect is admirable."

--The Argus July 16, 1891.

(For the rest of the description, follow the link below to the Dodge County Historical Society website.)

The Williams Free Library outgrew the building and moved in 1984. In 1985, the city leased the building to the Dodge County Historical Society.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 7, 1974
Reference number
Architectural styles
Other architectural type; Victorian: Romanesque; Richardsonian Romanesque
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant years
1890; 1891

Update Log 

  • August 11, 2012: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description and added photos.