One of the last surviving, intact remnants of Butler's farming roots
"Ordinarily moved structures are not eligible for listing in the National Register. The Clarke House was moved from its original site in 1909-1910, within its period of significance, to save it from demolition when its site was redeveloped as a railroad yard. The house was moved by the same family that had long owned it to a new site with a similar rural character within the same community. Since being moved was a common occurrence in the life cycle of many nineteenth century buildings in Wisconsin, rather than detracting from its significance, this episode actually adds to the historical interest of the Clarke House by highlighting this interesting, but now largely forgotten, aspect of nineteenth century life in Wisconsin.
"The garage is also of architectural interest as a rare, if not unique, example of an automobile garage adapted to rural life by incorporating privies into its design. Although usually thought of as an urban building type, the automobile garage was also added to the array of agricultural outbuildings found on many Wisconsin farms in the early twentieth century.
"When George L. Clarke, Jr. was constructing his new farmstead on his father's old farm, he included an automobile garage, but adapted it to its agrarian environment by incorporating a pair of privies into it. As originally sited, these privies would have faced north, away from the house, toward the fields and the complex of farm buildings. They would have served the needs of the farmer and his family as well as hired hands working in the farmyard and fields. They may have also initially served the Clarke family if the house was not originally provided with an indoor toilet, which would not have been unusual for a house in the country in 1910.
"To summarize, as a rare surviving example of an early automobile garage incorporating privies, the Clarke garage is of architectural interest as an adaptation of an essentially urban building type to a rural environment."
Adapted from the National Register of Historic Places Application Form prepared by Leslie J. Vollmert, dated January 17, 1985. A link to the entire document is listed below under "Sources."