George and Margaret Judd    (1850)
It is believed the original house was built by Elihu and Delia Filer in 1850. It was built in the Greek Revival style; but, with the large addition later added to the front of the house, all the Grecian detailing has been lost. In 1857 it was purchased by George and Margaret Judd, who came from Connecticut. Both Judd and his son A. Cary were lawyers. Cary and his wife, Ellen, later owned the house after George’s death in January 1883.

Mrs. Julia Rodgers purchased the Judd property in 1887. Her son, John, worked for Racine Gas Light Co., which was awarded the contract to electrify the fourth ward in January, 1887 and for lighting the city with street lights in 1889. They hired architect James G. Chandler to design an addition that would “erect a handsome cottage” on the front of the residence. It was built in the Queen Anne style, popular from 1880 through the mid-1890s. These houses are recognized by their complexity and busy appearance. The Rodgers’ addition has an octagon turret; an uneven, peaked roofline; ornamentation in the peaks; bay windows; roof brackets; scroll-cut & spindle ornamentation; very unusual wavy clapboards on the south peak; and a beautiful plate glass window with a colored glass border in the foyer. There was wood parquet flooring installed by Samuel C. Johnson before he got into the “wax business”. Some parquet flooring remains visible in the house today.

Charles Freeman purchased the home in November, 1894. Freeman had come to Racine with his family in 1867 from Centralia, Illinois, where he was born in 1858. He married Jessie Williams in 1883, and they had four children. Freeman was president of the S. Freeman & Sons Manufacturing Co., which produced agricultural and steel boilers. Freeman turned the house into a two-family during WWI, and a three-family in the early 1930s. There would be some member of the family associated with the house until the mid-1950s.

The current owner, David Power, was a Horlick High School English teacher when he bought the house. It badly needed painting, but the $62,000 estimate was so high, he devised a five-year plan to do the job himself. He had a grueling task of removing up to a quarter inch of old paint from a house that soared 45 feet high. David added a partner in maintaining this historical dwelling when he married Faith Anderson. Together they have continued refurbishing the house, extensively remodeling the second and third floors, jacking up the basement beams to alleviate sagging floors, and adding a swimming pool.

The Powers were awarded a Century Award from Preservation Racine in 1998. Preservation Racine sincerely thanks David and Faith Power for opening their home to us and the community.