First house to be fully electrified by hydroelectric generation
An extensive restoration and renovation program has been carried out by the house's present owners, the H.D. Mares family. This has included cleaning the exterior brick, installing a new roof, replacement of a few porch posts and rails with custom-made duplicates, and a complete re-wiring of the house. [Editor's Note: This was in the mid 1960s.]
...Rogers was a friend of H.E. Jacobs who, in 1882 had taken a job with Thomas Edison. Jacobs convinced Rogers that electricity was the wave of the future, and Rogers devised a scheme to light Hearth Stone, the [Kimberly & Clark] Vulcan Paper Mill, and the Appleton Paper and Pulp Mill electrically. A generator was purchased from Thomas Edison, and Rogers and three other men founded the Appleton Edison Light Company, Ltd., using the Fox River as their source of power. On September 30, 1882, Hearth Stone was illuminated electrically for the first time. This first operation of the Appleton plant followed the opening of Thomas Edison's steam operated Pearl Street Station by only twenty-six days; and Edison's plant was not originally used to light any buildings used solely for residential purposes, though it did light some houses associated with industrial purposes. Thus, Hearthstone was the first residence in America to be lighted from a centrally-located power plant.
Adapted and condensed from the National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form prepared by Charlene Stant Engel, Preservation Planning Assistant, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, July 13, 1974. A link to the document is listed below under "Sources."