History of the House

Taken from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House (15 Dec 2009) Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Scandinavian Construction Technique

One of the principle reasons for saving and restoring the Hans Hanson house is to preserve and interpret various examples of Norwegian construction. A sampling of the buildings folk architectural designs and techniques is as follows:

  • Carefully hewn and fitted horizontal exterior and interior log walls. These logs were scribe-fit using the hollowed out undersides of each course, fitted to the unworked top surface profile of the logs below. Although the actual design of the log gable ends and interior gable are not known due to their being removed for Phase II, it can be surmised that the Hanson house used a low sloping roof line of sawn boards nailed to flattened rafter poles that were notched and set onto rafter plate logs and full length purlins and a ridge pole. The plate logs, purlins and ridge pole would have extended out over the gable end walls at last 12″ and possibly more. The house may have had two sets of purlins for each gable end log course or as in the sketch it may have Rad only two sets total. Eventually, during the future house restoration, where some of the second floor modern walls and flooring will be removed, vertical peg holes should come to view indicating the former existence of the Phase I gable end logs. The notched rafter plate logs would have been discarded for Phase II used a full length log cantilevered out over the east forstue. This Phase I roof design was characteristic of ancient Scandinavian buildings that held heavy large flat slate shingles or sod. In America, there are very few remaining examples of pioneer Norwegian sod roofed buildings.
  • The original door and window openings used wall stiffener vertical “key-way” boards approximately 1-1/2 x 2″. The top ends of these boards were loosely fitted into chiseled out holes in the undersides of the door and window lintel logs that spanned the openings. As the logs shrink in size over a three or more year period, as much as 6″ to 8″ of ceiling height will be lost due to settling of the wall logs. The key-ways allowed the logs to settle with out crushing the door and widow casings and trim. These casings were attached to the key-way and not to the logs. The trim, if there was any for Phase I would not be nailed to the logs until the wall was completely settled.
  • Three types of common Norwegian log notching can be found on the Hanson house.
    • Full dove tall corner notches.
    • Square, interior wall to exterior walls and upper floor joists.
    • A modified full dove tail used when not enough wood was available.
  • A type of unheated and enclosed two level porch/storage room (forstue or fore bay) was created in Phase II when the top course of Phase II rafter plates were removed and full length wall logs cantilevered over a eight foot area on the east side of the house. This area was enclosed with rough sawn boards nailed to hewn and sawn vertical wall studs. Traditionally, the main access to the second floor is found in this unheated area. Another example of this type of dwelling is a small loft house, built in 1844 near Stoughton, Wisconsin.
  • Exposed decorative ceiling joists using both chamfered edges on one set and beaded edges on the other.
  • The use of calcimine white wash both on the exterior and interior of the wall lags.
  • Hans Hanson’s techniques in transforming green felled trees into a snug fit traditional house displaying a superior craftsmanship and following traditional designs is not that uncommon in Wisconsin. The Hanson house is a cultural statement of excellence in carpentry that is evidenced in everything Norwegian wood workers produced. From small bent wood tina boxes, to spinning wheels, looms, and every kind of furniture. Norwegians knew their wood and how to keep an edge tool sharp.

The Evolution and Restoration of the Hans Hanson House

Understanding the building site

Existing Site Plan. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Existing Site Plan. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

During the initial investigation, hand penciled numbers (both in red and in black) were discovered under the thick calcimine white wash of Phase II on the south end of the interior wall in room C. These numbers indicate that the building was disassembled and moved to sit on the large walk-in stone and mortar basement. It is assumed that the original location was somewhere close by, perhaps just a few feet, but still had its orientation east and west with the two main windows facing south, and the single door facing east.

The house location is 55 feet from the east side of Big Creek and about 140 feet north of Utah Street. A 1937 air photo of this farm should be available through the USGS for reference regarding former out buildings, gardens and fence lines, etc. Presently, no historical photos have become available to help in the understanding of this farms evolution.

Drinking and house hold water has always been gained from the Big Creek. It is estimated that the Phase I configured structure remained on its original site until at lest 1870. At that period the structure was disassembled and moved onto a modem walk in full basement that nearly tripled it’s usable area. A 1890’s Door County plat map shows a total of 286 acres under H. Hanson ownership in four separate parcels. A neighbor, Hans P. Hanson, owned a ten acre strip of land running from the western edge of H. Hanson’s farm out to the main north/south road. This Hans P. Hanson should not be confused with our Hans Hanson Jr. Twelve other land owners using a Norwegian name are also found in the immediate neighborhood in Otumba Twp., Door County. The original 80 acres acquired from Thorston Hanson was the west half of the NE 1/4 of section 9, Otumba Twp., Door County, Wisconsin. The farm is a 1/4 mile north of the Sturgeon Bay shore line and 1-1/2 miles east of the village of Sturgeon Bay. The Big Creek runs south through the entire half mile of the farm’s westerly side and empties into Sturgeon Bay.

The present day size and flow of Big Creek is not enough to float a boat. Interestingly, a 1834 survey of the county is drawn incorrectly, showing the creek by-passing the 80 acres of future Hanson farm slightly to the west. This map also shows that the Sturgeon Bay shoreline did not penetrate entirely through to Lake Michigan, but ended about 1-1/2 miles west of the big lake. Sturgeon Bay was finally connected with Lake Michigan in the early 1870’s with the completion of the Sturgeon Bay Ship canal, eliminating the ancient portage trail noted on the 1834 survey. Some of the limestone bed rock blasted out for the canal could have been used by Hanson in the construction of the new basement for Phase II. An ancient fording spot across the Big Creek would have been somewhere on or south of the Hanson farm. The farm is generally level with a slight rise to the north and east containing clay loam soils. Some brushy low land areas still remain.

It has been stated that the birth of the Door County fruit orchard industry began on this farm in the 1920’s under the ownership of Prof. Moulton Goff a horticulturist. This information should he investigated as it would prove useful in the interpretation of the farm and also the nomination to the National Registry. Additionally, an agricultural comparative study, should be made of all the neighboring Norwegian farms as found in the 1860, 1870, and 1880 Federal census. We must determine what kind of farming operation this was and if Hanson continued in his carpentry business. The existing older barn is very small for a 286 acre operation. Perhaps the exhibit needs to add a larger barn and various outbuildings, to complete a more accurate representation of a bigger operation than is presently displayed.

Original Building Description, Phase I ca. 1857-1870

Elevation Floor Plan. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Elevation Floor Plan. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

The first phase of the Hanson log house best demonstrated Hans Hanson’s ability to convert standing trees into a snug log walled shelter. (see sketch and floor plan)

This 20′-7″ x 26′-2″ one story log house is made out of locally harvested white pine, basswood and cedar trees hewn to an average of 7″. Full dove tail corner notches and square notched ceiling joists and interior wall logs were used. An axe was used to cut many of the notches even across the gain. Sphagnum moss and rags would have been the insulation between the expertly scribe fit log courses. A nearly central positioned single gable end exterior door opening lead to Room C, a combined kitchen/dinning/living room. Eventually during this phase two additional rooms were created using simple single thickness partition walls and two door ways.

In the comer of Room D would have been a very steep stair assembly or ladder giving access to a sleeping loft/attic area. No evidence has presently been found of the design or placement of these attic access items. The rear half of the house was divided into two bedrooms divided by the same type of partition wall as in Room C. This partition wall also acted as a support for the rather week constructed ceiling. Without the partitions, little weight could have been added in the above attic/loft. The original first floor flooring trim and potential cellar design is unknown. However, whitewash sampling has shown that there was no interior window trim used for this phase and that the window opening in Rooms A and D were added after the structure was originally built. They were cut in later without providing key-ways and had newer whitewash applications that stopped next to the new window trim boards . Also, the original three window rough opening sizes were taller and wider than the two new windows.

The exact height, pitch, and log/purlin/ridge pole design of the original Hanson house will never be known unless a historic photo is discovered. By 1853 a steam saw mill was producing dimensional building material in Sturgeon Bay. Logic would tell us that Hanson would not have used the very laborious building design of several sets of purlins used to support a heavy roof of hand split logs. He would have anticipated using locally purchased roof sheathing boards nailed over flattened pole rafters that were notched and nailed into rafter plate logs. The low pitched log gable end design was simple for a skilled carpenter to implement. He only needed to drill vertical 2″ diameter holes that held vertical wooden pegs that joined the gable end log courses. At least one set of full length purlins and on ridge pole would have been used to hold the board and shingle and pole rafter roofing assembly. The rafter plate log, purlins and ridge pole would have been extending beyond the house by at least 12″. Eventually, during the future restoration of the house, the second floor newer flooring will be removed exposing the old vertical peg holes.

The ceiling boards and joists are suspected to be the same ones still in the house having been carefully de-nailed and reinstalled for Phase II. The ceiling joists in room B are three 4-1/4″ x 5-l/2″ hand planned pine full span joists on 34″ centers with 1/2″ beaded edges. The ceiling joists in Room C are 4″ x 5″ hand planned pine full span timbers with chamfered edges on 34″ center spacing. The ceiling above is made out of 1″ thick random width hand planed tongue and groove pine flooring. Floor to ceiling height would have been about 7′-5″. The ceiling boards need some type of wall nailer board to add support for the attic space. The first floor assembly would have used flattened log joists spanning a low ceiling cellar supported by rocks and carrying the same random width tongue and groove pine boards as the ceiling. This assembly was completely replaced but potentially partially recycled in Phase II. Most of Phase II joists are longer and notched into the newly installed sill logs.

The entrance door and three interior doors would have been simple hand planed vertical 1″ pine boards held together with horizontal chamfered board cleats nailed to the inside of the boards. In time, the exterior door gets replaced with a store bought four raised panel 1-1/2″ thick door. From the start, home made six-light double hung sash units are used with simple pine board jambs and trim. There would have been hinged single six-light window sash mounted at each end of the log second floor gable end walls. The attic/loft would have used a open passageway access hole cut into the interior gable logs. A simple 6″ vertical metal stove pipe exited smoke from a cast iron cooking and heating stove in room C.

Lack of any whitewash in areas around the southwest wall corner next to the window in Room C indicated the presence of a 9″ deep open shelf assembly. Finally, all the interior log walls were coated with a layer of off white calcimine whitewash. The ceiling, joists and ceiling nailing trim boards were stained a dark walnut brown. Interior door and partition wall surfaces may have also gotten the walnut stain treatment.

Phase II ca. 1870-1875

This phase could have been as little as one year or as long as five. Fuzzy hewn log wood particles found under thick coating of white wash on the formally exterior log walls in Room F indicate at least 10 or more yeas of weathering from exposure to the sun and rain.

Starting this phase was the digging out and building of a 12″ thick by seven foot high lime stone and lime mortar hill-side full basement foundation. They used a walk out door on the west end and modern three light basement windows on three sides. A new squared off 7″ thick sawn pine timber sill log was placed on the new west foundation wall, white hand hewn 7″ x 10″ full length pine logs were used on the north and south foundation walls. The original gable end base log was reused being notched into the new long wall base timbers. Two original floor joists were placed on either side of this east base timber to support the new flooring above. New flattened log joists were notched and placed into the new long wall base logs on 24″ centers. A special thickened part of the basement stone wall, used wood shims, to support the two log joists and the east base log now spanning the basement. A few floor mounted posts and support beams spanned below some of the joists near their mid points.

The entire original house had to be disassembled about this time to be able to have recycled that east base log. The original log house was reassembled on the new base logs giving the floor/ceiling height an additional 6″-8″. Sawn 6″ x 6″ pine base timbers were laid over the lengthened building foundations east end. An additional 7′-6″ x 19′-6″ size room called the forstue was created by the lengthening of the new foundation to a total size of 20′ -6″ x 33′ -6″. Hanson used both hewn and rough sawn vertical wall studs and posts to support the cantilevered wall logs above and to help enclose the new first floor room. He used hewn 4″ x 4″ posts at the two corners and 3″ x 4″ rough sawn door frames for the north side exterior door. There was still only one entrance door at this time.

The new second floor used about 39″ of similarly scribed and fitted pine logs like the first phase except he used a hand saw to cut off all the ends and vertical corner notch cuts. Full length pine logs spanned the entire 33′ -6″ length occasionally using vertical wooden pegs to help keep the logs in place. No center tie logs were used to keep the walls from bowing out from the weight of the roof system above. This indicates that rafter collar-tie boards were used right from the start on this phase of the Hanson house.

  • The roof — The roof is made using full size 2″ x 4″ rough sawn pine rafters notched out to fit into the rafter plate top logs on 24″ centers. 1-1/4″ random width rough circular sawn square edge boards were nailed to the rafters with 2″ spaces between. The roof pitch is 10 x 12 and use a 12″ roof over hang on all sides. Simple planed pine boards were used to trim off the fascia and soffits. 16-17″ machine sawn white cedar shingles would have been square nailed to the roof boards with a 4-5′” exposure. 1″ x 6″ pine ridge boards would have been used to keep the rain out of the attic at the peak.
  • Chimney — Either during this phase or most likely in Phase III a cream brick chimney would have been built on a platform incorporated in a second floor bedroom wall above the first floor interior log wall. If not a brick unit, then the continuation of the use of a vertical 6″ metal stove pipe corning up through the second floor flooring and up and out the roof. The one and only stove pipe hole is still presently visible in the ceiling of Room C. This 9″ diameter hole is positioned in the northwest corner of the room and allows a rather large cook stove to be used below.
  • Heat Exchanger Hole — A curious, never before seen idea is a hole which was sawed into the standing interior log wall under the steep stairs near the wood burning stove. This opening would give both heat and light to the back bed roam A. No other use for this strange addition can at this time be stated. It was finally covered over with lath and plaster in Phase IV. Two more unexplained log wall cuttings occurred in the south wall of Room B. Two openings 8″ x 12″ were created near the south east comer of the room. One a few inches above the floor and the second just below the ceiling. Perhaps they were covered in metal screening and opened and closed for summer ventilation. Existing hewn log blocks were installed to close up the openings.
  • Stairs — The steep stair assembly from phase I or a new one would have probably been mounted between the interior log wall and first floor ceiling joist in Room D. No evidence of the configuration has thus been found. Perhaps with the removal of the modem hardwood flooring in 2010, a paint and nailing pattern can be found.
  • Siding enclosure — The second floor gable ends were enclosed with vertical rough sawn boards nailed to horizontal and vertical wall framing. The forstue room F was enclosed with random width rough sawn 1″ horizontal pine boards nailed to the wall studs.
  • Windows — Four new window openings were added to this enlarged house. One double hung window was mounted in the forstue and one each in each end of the second floor gables. These were store bought six light window assemblies that used simple square edge pine boards for casing and exterior trim. The fourth window was a six light single sash unit hinged for inside swing and mounted in an opening on the second floor south log wall. The forstue room F was open to the second floor roof. Only five rough sawn 2-1/2″ x 6″ support joists spanned the upper level. A restoration period store bought window design can presently be found for a pattern now being in the west second floor bedroom. All exterior and interior window trim uses full thickness 1″ x 4″ planed and painted pine.
  • Flooring — First and second floor flooring is very similar and is assumed to have been partially recycled from phase I. It is a full 1″ x 5″- 11″ tongue and grove random width planed pine, cut nailed to the joists and 1″ x 5″ wall ceiling trim boards that used a 1/2″ bead on the exposed edge.
  • Partitions and doors — The basic same room arrangement as in Phase I was repeated in Phase II. The second floor, needing more support than before, again used simple single vertical board partition walls below. Five new store bought four raised panel interior doors would have been used by this phase. A thicker, 1-1/4″ four raised panel door would have been hung on the only exterior door opening. No doors from this phase are still in use in 2009, but old four panel door patterns can always be found in other nearby old farm houses for a pattern. A second floor room partition ran along the top side of the downstairs interior log wall dividing the second floor space into two areas, a west bed room and an east attic over looking the forstue. A second bedroom may have been partitioned off from the attic using lath and plastered vertical stud walls. This is presently unclear and may be surmised once the second floor newer walls and newer hardwood flooring are removed.
  • Paint — All the wall logs received a fresh coating of light tan calcimine whitewash except the area behind the Room C wall shelf. The original walnut brown stain may have been reused during this period on the ceilings, joists, nailer trim, doors, floors and board partitions. However, real paint was not long in coming. Light gray greens and butterscotch paint colors were the first paints used in the new house, perhaps even in this early unfinished phase. (see paint plan).
  • Chinking (daubing) — Slacked lime mortar was used on both the exterior and interior of the first floor level of the house filling all the horizontal joints between log courses and some vertical joints and log check cracks. The entire first floor exterior log work and some of the new full length logs were covered over with a coating of whitewash. The second floor logs remained raw wood until phase III clap boards were installed. The overall effect was that of an unfinished house waiting for it’s modern trim and siding.

Phase III 1875-1885

This is the most important period for use as a restored exhibition building because there is more physical evidence surviving and it displays the house as a completed Wisconsin farm house. This is also the most complete and interesting phase of the house usage and is suggested as the period of restoration and interpretation. This entire report is directed to undertaking the most accurate restoration possible while adding living history elements that no other out-door museum uses.

The 1880 Federal Census Records show there are seven people living in the Hanson house:

  • Hans Hanson — age 65 farmer born in Norway
  • Bertha — age 63 wife born in Norway
  • Gunnel — age 29 daughter burn in Norway
  • Catinka — age 25 daughter born in Illinois
  • Hans — age 21 son born in Wisconsin
  • Lizzie — age 18 daughter born in Wisconsin
  • Carl Hanson — age 47 brother born in Norway (and suffering from Asthma)

Speculative and possible roam usages: (see floor plans for Phase III)

  • Room A — Hans and Bertha
  • Room B — Parlor and bedroom for Carl Hanson (temporarily using the Parlor and dieing on August 10,1880)
  • Room C — Combination kitchen/dining and living room
  • Room D — Lizzie
  • Room E — Pantry
  • Room F — back entry “farmers mud room”
  • Room G — Front entry and stair access to second floor rooms
  • Room I — Hallway access to two bed rooms and attic storage
  • Room J — Hans Jr. (and possible guests)
  • Room K — Gunnel and Catinka


  • Exterior Appearance — By 1875 the Hanson house would have received a complete covering of horizontal clap boards nailed to vertical furring strips. Some of the strips go behind the door and window trim indicating rebuilding of the door and window casing/jambs. Milled dimensional pine lumber is installed for roof cornice, soffits and facias. The cream brick chimney would have been installed by this date. The formal front doorway entrance is installed by notching out the bottom of the cantilevered south wall log to provide a 2′-8″ x 8′-0″ door and transom light assembly. The door is a simple store bought four raised panel extra thick door. The entire exterior is painted white.
  • Room A — Hans and Bertha’s bed room continues to function as it has since the good old days of Phase I. Perhaps store bought furnishings have replaced some of the original hand made ones and a large wooden wardrobe could be standing in one comer. They are getting to be elderly people and start to see the farming tasks taken over more and more by Hans Jr. and his sisters. Walls are whitewashed logs. Ceiling, partition, door, and trim is painted a light olive gray color. Floor is stained walnut with multiple rag rugs sewn together.
  • Room B — The multi-use parlor room is the Hanson’s primary indicator of the entry into modern times. Here in this the sunniest room, special events are held such as home bible study, singing and the playing of music. The Christmas tree, fancier store bought furniture, gold leaf wood framed family portraits, and a book case with religious books and classics. The best carpet in the house is on the dark stained floor. Window dressings display store bought curtains. Plant stands display indoor plants like Christmas cactus, fern and Oleander. The log walls are still showing a fresh coating of thick off white whitewash. While the ceiling, partition, doors, and window trim is now painted light shades of olive gray.Hans’ brother Carl Hanson could be temporarily using this room. He is asleep on a day bed, gray, and sickly. His cloth are hung on wall hooks and stored in a small dresser/commode. The parlor stove, when in infrequent use, gives heat to the attached bedroom as well as a little heat to the big second floor bed room above. Uncle Carl could also be bunking up stairs with Hans Jr. He was most likely laid out in the parlor for his funeral in August.
  • Room C — The kitchen and dining room continues to be used in the same manner as from Phase I and II. The south facing double hung window allows the brightly white washed walls to shine. The floors remain stained walnut brown but the ceilings and doors trim and partition are painted the color like room B. The open shelving on the south wall continues to hold books and family heirlooms. The wood burning cast iron cook stove from phase I continues to provide heat to this, the most used room of the house. Several kerosene lamps attached to wall mounted cast iron brackets provide illumination to the room. Possible furnishings include the kitchen work table, dining table, Hans and Bertha’s rocking chairs, six kitchen chairs and wood box. Indoor plants would be present on the deep window sills while wall mounted clothes hooks are holding some aprons and towels. Around the room are other more modem store bought kitchen tools.
  • Room D — This first floor bed room was created when the steep enclosed stairway was removed and rebuilt as a formal open stair case in room G. The youngest child, Lizzie, or occasional guests, could have used this room. Once Hans marries and starts having children, as many as ten or more people used this house. The more bed rooms the better. Hans is married around 1884 during this phase started having children in 1885. They had nine children by 1908.
  • Room E — The pantry continues as the main food, cooking supplies, and tableware storage area in the house. Flooring is stained walnut and the log walls are whitewashed. The ceiling, partition, door, and open shelving is painted.
  • Room F — The rear entry room continues as the farmers unheated ”mud room”. The horizontal 1″ pine boards are whitewashed along with the partition, and the log wall. Floor is unfinished tongue and groove pine. The ceiling is painted 1″ x 6″ tongue and groove pine with a 1″ x 3-3/4″ pine wall trim with a beaded edge. The window and door trim is 1″ x 4″ painted pine.
  • Room G — The front entry room was dressed up for company. A formal open stairway with three winder steps was put into the southeast corner. The stair rise is 7-1/2″ with 9-1/2″ treads. The nosing overhang is 1-1/2″-2″ and uses a decorative 2″ cove molding. The stringer stair supports are a 12″ wide board that runs beyond the partition wall by one step into room F. The underside of the stairs is unpainted as is the adjoining horizontal wall boards. Perhaps there was a time when a basement stairs was in this area with access from room F. More investigation will be done when the modern flooring is finally removal in 2010. The side of the stair assembly is enclosed with vertical tongue and groove boards that match the partition wall boards but may have used a 1/2″ beaded edge with molded trim. A 6″ high base board completes the stair enclosure. Two chamfered 4″ x 4″ pine posts and 1-1/2″ square balusters, with a simple rounded hand rail could have completed the stairs. Inspection of neighboring Norwegian/American farm houses will prove useful for this missing but important design detail.The underside of the roof is still visible from the first floor. A new doorway opening was cut into the west log wall giving access to the room C. The partition wall helps to give support to the second floor. It is made out of 1″ thick vertical tongue and groove pine boards nailed onto a 2″ x 12-1/2″ header with a 1″ x 2 1/2″ rabbit bottom edge. The log and horizontal wall boards next to the door and stairs are whitewashed. The pine flooring is stained dark walnut and the door, trim, partition, and stair sides and risers are painted.The new front door is a 1-1/2″ x 2′-6″ x 6′-8″ four panel pine door. The transom light above is a four pane unit. A heavy molded edge header supports the sash. Again, try to find a neighboring intact 1880’s vintage front door farm house design similar to this tall size opening.
  • Room I — As described earlier, this is an unpainted and un-whitewashed hallway and attic storage area. The partition walls are rough plaster and unpainted. The two doors, each leading to the two bed rooms are simple vertical board doors with two horizontal chamfered cleats. No ceiling in this room except for the open roof system. One double hung, six over six light window unit is found in the east gable end. Simple unpainted pine window trim surrounds the window casing next to the random width vertical pine wall boards.
  • Room J — This roam the smaller of the two second floor bed rooms uses some of the heat from the cooking stove below. The metal chimney pipe comes up through the floor and turns into a cream brick chimney mounted on a braced platform half way up from the floor. The floor is the unpainted tongue and grove mentioned before. A single hinged-in swinging sash six light window is found on the south log wall giving light and ventilation to this room. The log walls and partition stud walls and ceiling are lath and rough plastered with no paint. Baseboards, window and door trim and the door are painted.
  • Room K — The largest room in the house holds two or more beds for female members of the Hanson house. Like room J, room K is lath and plastered over the logs and partition wall studs and ceilings. The ceiling uses the attic’s collar ties as the foundation for lath and plaster. A metal stove pipe coming up from the lower bedroom A, is seen coming through the unpainted floor and into the brick chimney. The simple 1″ x 4″ pine trim is used for the door and the double hung window on the west gable end. Window panes use 7″ x 9” glass. The door is 2′-4″ x 5′-7″. The trim and vertical board door are the only things painted in this room. Note both this door and the door for bed room J are still mounted in second floor door openings and should be striped and re-hung.

Phase IV: 1885-1920

The 1900 Federal census records both families living in the house.

  • Hans Hanson — age 85 born in Norway (Bertha Hanson died on March 30,1899)
  • Gunnell — age 49 born in Norway
  • Elizabeth — age 38 born in Wisconsin
  • Hans Hanson Jr. — age 34 born in Wisconsin
  • Gustava — age 34 born in Norway
  • Clara — age 13 born in Wisconsin
  • Hammeril — age 11 born in Wisconsin
  • Ester — age 7 born in Wisconsin
  • Arthur — age 5 born in Wisconsin
  • Elmer — age 2 born in Wisconsin
  • Bertha — age 1 born in Wisconsin

A son, Adolph was born in 1890 and died October 14,1894, and two more children to be born, Kenneth in 1905 and Donald in 1908.

That makes between eight and fourteen people living in the house during this period at any one time. Over these thirty-five years many times the house was rearranged for new sleeping arrangements. When Hans Hanson died on January 21,1903, he was probably sleeping in Room D, and Hans Jr. and Gustava were already the west bed room. Gunnell and Lizzie remained unmarried and would have continued using their old second floor west bed room, Gunnell dies on March 15,1911. Lizzie finally gets married and moves out, freeing up the entire second floor for the eight nieces and nephews.

During this phase, the second floor is enlarged over the front entry room and a new two level brick chimney is built against a new partition wall in room F. The wall logs have been removed in room F and a new door into room C is added. The first floor board partition is removed in room C and a 1″ thick vertical metal rod is installed hanging from the attic down through the room C ceiling joist for support. Two new gable end windows are installed and two new east/west partitions are installed making the west bed room into two rooms. The entry into bedroom J is now on the east wall of the room moved over from the north wall. Room J gets a large gable dormer and a double hung window to match the other new second floor windows. It is re-plastered and uses a new east wall four panel door. The entire first floor log walls are now lath and plastered over along with room F.

Sometime during this phase, a 9′- 7″ x 10′-6″ frame entry way with a basement access stairway and a new doorway is installed against the north wall near the west comer using a door opening cut into the log wall. The old rooms A & B now loose it’s partition wall and transforms into a modem kitchen and dining area. Room C is now one big living room. 2-1/2″ maple tongue and groove hardwood flooring is added through out the first and second floor. When the new north doorway is added the original north doorway into room F is framed and sided over crating a new first floor bedroom area. Modern electrical service would have been added to the house during this period.

Phase V: 1940-present

Finally, a modern wood framed flat roofed kitchen and bathroom addition is built over a concrete block basement addition with a double walk out door. A bath room is added into the second floor north west bedroom space and a new open stairway is installed in the north east comer of former room A. The entire room becomes a dining room.

The old stairway is removed and the walls floor walls are lath and plastered. A new bed room is crated at the east end of the second floor when the old stairway ceiling opening is enclosed and floored over. Various closets, hallways, and storage shelving is installed in the second floor bedrooms. Finally, the partition wall between the living room and bedroom is removed along with the chimney, when a new exterior brick chimney is installed over the north walls clap board siding and up through the roof over hang. The south first floor windows were replaced with a new casement window in the dining room and a three gang nailed set of double hung windows cutting away plenty of the south facing wall logs. A fuel oil space heater is connected to the exterior chimney in the living room and later a gas fed hot water boiler for base board heat is installed. None of the old log walls are visible anywhere in the house at this point, but the original exposed first floor room B and C ceiling joists are still in view, having been coated with multiple layers of modem paint.

Color Samples

Color Sample for Rooms A and B Ceiling. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Color Sample for Rooms A and B Ceiling. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Color Sample for Room A Ceiling Trim. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Color Sample for Room A Ceiling Trim. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Color Sample for Room A.Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Color Sample for Room A.Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.
Color Sample for Room D. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Color Sample for Room D. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Color Sample for Room F Ceiling Trim. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Color Sample for Room F Ceiling Trim. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.
Color Sample for Room F. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Color Sample for Room F. Picture from The Historical, Architectural Analysis, And Restoration Plan for the Hans Hanson House, 15 Dec 2009 Prepared by Alan Pape for The Door County Historical Society.

Leave a Reply