Air Quality:

Ralph Perry House

Ralph Perry House

Building Description

The Ralph P. Perry house is a large two story frame residence, sided with clapboards and dominated by a two story portico with paired fluted columns and crocketed capitals. The portico is centrally located on the symetrically designed facade. A pedimented gable with modillions, green wood shingles, a lunette window and a molded cornice form the roof of the portico. Four multi-pane hip roof dormers are on the south side of the second story porch. Decorative wooden railings enclose this porch as well as the top of the one story addition of the east and porte corchere on the west. Six windows, three on each side, flank the central doorway. Each of the two outer windows are twelve-over-one and have cornice heads and molded frames with corner blocks. The windows closest to the door are nine-over-one with undecorated wood frames. The building, which is in excellent condition, features a rectangular shaped plan configuration (with an addition), a brick foundation, a clapboard exterior, a wood trim and a wood shingled gable roof.

One story round columns with plain capitals support the full front porch. Two pilasters are on the house itself. The single door entry has sidelights flanked on each side by two pilasters with a diamond pattern wood panel above the lights. Window placement is the same as on the second story. The outer windows are twelve-over-one with undecorated wood frames and the windows flanking the door have nine panes.

The gable roof has modillions under the eaves and small dentils along the cornice. The eave faces the front and the gable has returns. An exterior red brick fireplace is on the west side of the house. The same red brick covers the raised basement foundation area. The cap of the fireplace is trimmed with stone, as are the caps of two interior fireplaces. A twelve-over-one window with a cornice head and molded frames is on the second story on each side of the fireplace. A narrow one story projection on each side of the fireplace has a twelve-over-one window. It gives the appearance of a box bay window bisected by the fireplace. The porte cochere is attached at the northwest corner of the house.

The east side of the house has a one story square enclosed extension with many windows. South of the extension on the east side is a three part multi-pane window on the first story. Two small two-over-two windows are in the gable and three multi-pane windows are on the second story. The northern most second story window is part of a two story extension on the northeast of the house beneath a gable roof (the gable faces north) with modillions and returns. Wood shingles and a circular window dilineate the gable.

The north or rear of the house has enclosed porches on both stories on the west half. Ths section is flat roofed (the east half of the rear is the two story extension). At least four more hip roof and multi-pane dormers are on the north side of the roof. A garage is on the northeast part of the lot. The house is situated on a corner lot facing Main Street, surrounded by neatly trimmed shrubbery and trees. It has maintained a high degree of integrity.

Architectural/Engineering Significance:

The Ralph P. Perry house is a locally significant example of Colonial Revival domestic architecture, distinguished by a two story portico reminiscent of classical styles which adds an elegant and stately appearance to this well proportioned and neatly delineated house. The house, visually prominent because of its Main Street location, is one of three fine Colonial Revival residences in the city (the other two are in the Park Street Historic District), but this house is the most classically designed of the three. It is a significant asset to the architectural resources of Reedsburg.


The building located at 531 E. Main Street was built in 1909 by Ralph and Helen Perry. Their 3 daughters, Edna, Mildred, and Katherine lived with them until they reached the age of majority and moved out.

Ralph was one of 5 children born to Oliver and Mary Perry. Oliver and Mary came to Reedsburg in 1850 when the population was less than 100 people. Oliver managed the first store in the village of Reedsburg for a Mr. Sanford who owned a chain of stores in the Baraboo Valley.

Ralph was born June 22, 1859, the third child.

At the age of 19, he began to study law in the office of James Lusk. He eventually served a stint as District Attorney for Sauk County at the age of 25, Treasurer of the Woolen Mills for several years and President of the Reedsburg Bank. He was president of the bank from 1896 to 1927, becoming one of the two principle stockholders in 1887. He then served as chairman of the board of the bank from 1927 to 1930 before resuming duties as president until 1935.

Helen died in 1944 and their daughter Mildred moved back into the home to take care of her father. He died on April 8, 1952. Mildred lived there for 2 years before selling the house to Dr. Otto and Anna Pawlisch.

They lived together in the house until Anna died in 1984. Otto continued to live there until the early 90’s when he moved into a Senior Assisted Living facility. In 1993, son James and his wife June bought the house. June died on June 11, 201 and James died two months later on August 21, 2021.

The house went up for sale and is now owned by the Gruber-Guadian Revocable Trust and is listed on the Air BnB.