College Avenue Historic District

Fountain St., S. East and College Aves., Waukesha, Wisconsin

The College Avanue Historic District includes several residential and academic properties


108 N. Barstow Street Looking Northwest

The core of this two story stone house is a rectangular, gable roofed block constructed in 1858 by Calvin Barnes, the owner of an adjacent stone quarry. (The quarry is now covered by Carroll University athletic fields.)

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in April 2016




"The area now included in the College Avenue Historic District was at one time part of a Potawatomi Village, occupied each summer until the government relocated the Potawatomi to Missouri in 1836. A few earthen mounds remain on the Carroll College campus as evidence of the village.

"By the 1840's [sic], a limestone quarry was operating in the vicinity of the district. Initially operated by Lyman Goodnow, these quarries provided the fine grained Niagara dolomite for many of the significant buildings in Waukesha. The Barnes Brothers also operated the quarries in the area, the house at 108 N. Barstow was one of the products of their quarries.

"The College Avenue area was sparsely populated prior to the 1880's. The development of the area apparently coincided with the growth of Carroll College. The college had been chartered by the the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature in 1846, and was the first college in the territory, having developed from the earlier Prairieville Academy, founded in 184O. Financial difficulties forced the closing of the school on three separate occasions; however, Carroll college survived and began a period of growth during the late l880's [sic]. In 1885 fire destroyed the original Main Hall, but it was replaced by the present building (dedicated in 1887), which has continued to serve as a symbol of Carroll College.

"The neighborhood which developed around Carroll College was composed of homes of Waukesha's businessmen, including lumber dealers, engineers, and attorneys. Generally the residential buildings are significant as representative examples of types or periods of construction, rather than for association with notable persons."

From the Intensive Inventory Form submitted to the National Park Service for inclusion of the district on the National Register of Historic Places, approved in 1983.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 28, 1983
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival; Victorian
Areas of significance
Industry; Education; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
College; Single dwelling
Current functions
Single dwelling; College
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1925-1949
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 26
Non-contributing buildings: 5

Update Log 

  • May 22, 2016: New photo from J.R. Manning
  • May 21, 2016: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • May 20, 2016: New photo from J.R. Manning
  • May 10, 2016: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added description and added photos