October 1, 1996: Fairlawn’s restoration named Superior’s official sesquicentennial project

On this day across the bay in 1996, Superior, Wisconsin, Mayor Margaret Ciccone designated the restoration of Fairlawn Mansion as the city’s official sesquicentennial project. The Queen Anne Victorian mansion was built in 1891 by Martin and Grace Pattison; Martin Pattison was a lumber baron and mining executive and served three terms as Superior’s mayor. In 1920 the widowed Grace and her daughter gave the estate to the Superior Children’s Home and Refuge Association (SCHRA), and it became a children’s home. In 1962 the SCHRA ceased operation, and on June 6, 1963, Fairlawn was rededicated as the home of the Douglas County Historical Society. In the 1990s DCHS director Rachel Martin began a restoration of the mansion and grounds. Martin contacted the Jeffris Family Foundations in Janesville, WI, an organization known for financially supporting historic restorations throughout the state. The foundation eventually donated $630,000 in challenge grants. Work began in September of 1997, and you can read a detailed account of the work, and more of the mansion’s history, here.

Fairlawn photographed in 2014. (Image: mistypinephotography.com)awn

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