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History of the J.L. Jensen House - A Timeline

1858   City of Stevens Point is incorporated.  Lumber mills (including one owned by Abraham Brawley for whom Brawley Street is named) prospered.  Cabinet making shops, sash factories, blacksmith shops, shoemakers, grocery and dry good stores, clothiers, banks, harness makers, bakeries all grew along the smooth Wisconsin River.

1871   The railroad came to Stevens Point—a boost for the area’s economy.  More lumber and goods could be shipped to other parts of the world.

1881   J. L. Jensen leaves the Jackson Mill to operate a grocery store business in downtown Stevens Point.

1886   J. L. Jensen purchases the property for a new home adjacent to his former home from Mrs. S. H. Marshall for $2,000 so he could build “one of the most pleasant homes in the city.”  (Centennial Publication, June, 1958.)

1900   City of Stevens Point is shocked by the transfer of the Wisconsin Central Railroad to Fond du Lac and Abbotsford.  The city’s economy is adversely affected.  The money spent by the city and county to build shops and make Stevens Point a rich trading center were disregarded.  The city’s lumber supply was exhausted and the era of lumber mills in Stevens Point ended.

1900   City turns to the paper making industry, utilizing saw mills along the river.  Hence many other businesses developed; fly tying factories, potato growing, furniture making, publishing, insurance.

1901   Mary (Lind) and J.L. Jensen construct their new home on the corner of Elk and Brawley Streets across from the C. E. Van Hecke home.  Both homes were built about the same time.  Local newspapers reported “that these two residences will (would) add materially to the appearance of Brawley Street.”  It was in the midst of the city’s change from a lumber town to the city we know today that J.L. Jensen built such an elegant home surpassing the simpler Victorian style of most of Stevens Point’s homes built at


The J.L. Jensen house shortly after it was built (1901).


The J.L. Jensen house in 1987.


The J.L. Jensen house in 2006.

this time. To design this home, the services of architect, J.H. Jeffers are enlisted.  (Jeffers designed the Wisconsin Exhibition Building for the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.)

1932   J. L. Jensen dies and Mary Jensen becomes the homes second owner.  J. L.’s wife, Mary came from an early Portage County pioneer family who settled in the Stockton area. (Stevens Point Daily Journal 1936)

1936   Mary Jensen dies and son, Gareld becomes the third owner of the house.  Gareld was a dentist who was reported to give “ball point pens. . . to all men leaving for military service from Stevens Point(Stevens Point Daily Journal, 1956)

1956  Charles Jensen, becomes the home’s fourth owner.  Charles was a lawyer and three time alderman on Stevens Point’s Common Council.

1984   Charles dies and his wife Janet is the last member of the original family to own the Jensen home.

1987  The Jensen house is sold to its present owners, Bonnie and Bill Maher, who renovate the house for their family home and nominate the house for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

1988   J. L. Jensen House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as an excellent example of the Queen Anne style of architecture.

1990   Present owners Bonnie and Bill Maher open the J.L. Jensen House to the public as the Dreams of Yesteryear Bed and Breakfast.


Member in good standing of
the Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association.
Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association

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1100 Brawley Street - Stevens Point, WI 54481 - (715) 341-4525

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