CHARLES E. & BERTHA BROWN HOUSE

Those who were lucky enough to be among the first to build homes in Nakoma were able to purchase lots that gave them completely unobstructed panoramic views looking out towards Lake Wingra and beyond. Not surprisingly, many of these first houses were located along Nakoma Road, which, because it was already in existence, offered both ease of access to Madison and lots located along a ridge overlooking the lake. The same advantages also typified the hillside lots located on the 1100 blocks of Waban Hill and Mandan Crescent as well, and one of the first houses to be built in this area was the fine Prairie style house of Charles E. and Bertha Brown. Here once again we see some of the basic elements that distinguish the style: a shallow-pitched hip roof with wide overhanging eaves, grouped windows, and in this case, a broad encircling wooden beltcourse that is placed just below the first story windows.

Charles E. Brown was an archeologist and the chief of the State Historical Society's museum division when his house was built. He was especially well known for his pioneering efforts to identify and preserve the Indian mounds that were once found throughout the Four Lakes area, including Nakoma. It was his interest in prehistoric and historic Native American cultures that led him to propose giving Nakoma's streets their tribal names, a proposal that did much to help give Nakoma its early community identity.

 

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