Washburn House 

612 Ferry St | Locally Designated 11/21/1995

Notice of Designation of Historic Structure

Intersecting gable roofs; paired brackets and block dentils under broad roof overhang; projecting window cornices; stained glass borders on clear plate glass windows; arched windows with articulated keystones on south wing; stucco added to original surface; much alteration of architectural details has taken place.

Formerly of brick, this stucco, two-story, cross-shaped house was altered by the addition of stucco to the exterior, as well as the removal of architectural details. The house acquired by C.C. Washburn, a former congressman and governor of Wisconsin, in 1861, is important for its association with a prominent early citizen of La Crosse.

Francis M. Rublee moved to La Crosse from the Milwaukee area around 1848. He is considered one of the founding fathers of La Crosse. He probably was a brother to Horace Rublee of Madison. Rublee sold the house to C.C. Washburn in 1861. Washburn was an early Wisconsin settler in Mineral Point and moved to La Crosse early on. Washburn went on to become a Union officer, a Congressman from Wisconsin, Wisconsin Governor, and eventually founder of what is today the Pillsbury Mills Co.

C.C. Washburn was a scion of an illustrious family from the East. His brother Elihu was a Senator from Illinois. C.C. Washburn engaged in the lumber business after arriving in La Crosse in 1860. In 1861, he organized the Second Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment. Washburn became a Major-General during the Civil War - the highest ranking citizen of Wisconsin. After the war, Washburn became Governor 1872-1874, University Regent, and also eventually moved to Minneapolis to engage in the flour milling business. He died in 1882.
Constructed by F.M. Rublee in 1856 and purchased by Washburn c.1859.
-(Historical Notes from the Wisconsin Architecture and History Inventory.)