What is the status of the restoration of the Maison Horner?
A major restoration is half complete at the John Scott Horner House in Ripon.
The property at 336 Scott St. is tentatively slated to become an Airbnb that aims to enhance downtown as a tourist destination.
The frame for the historic porch of the house has been erected, along with the frame for the back porch and much of the plaster and drywall restoration.
Although there is still a lot of work to be done, John Splitt, one of the partners behind the restoration, described the project as about halfway done.
A group of Riponites plan to make the property as faithful as possible to how it looked in the 1800s, while incorporating modern amenities.
John Scott Horner LLC purchased the property earlier this year and has already completed some of the preliminary work to resurrect the building.
Partners behind John Scott Horner LLC include Splitt, Colleen Kok, Tom Rogers and Debbie Rogers. Splitt and Tom Rogers recently shared their tentative plans for the historic home.
The Horner House is one of Ripon’s oldest homes, believed to have been built around 1850 for John Scott Horner and Harriet Watson Horner, according to the Ripon Historical Society.
The building itself is a mixture of Greek Revival and Italianate architecture and is made of limestone.
Over the years, the Horner House fell into disrepair. The most recent owner of the house was unable to complete his restoration vision before his death.
The house is on both the State and National Register of Historic Places. In fact, John Scott Horner was important to both Wisconsin and Ripon history.
Before Wisconsin became a state, Horner served as both Secretary and Acting Governor of the Michigan and Wisconsin Territories by President Andrew Jackson.
Horner traveled to Ripon, arriving by water at what became the Gothic Millpond. He was so impressed with the area that he purchased land and named it after his family’s ancestral home of Ripon, England.
Additionally, many streets in Ripon are named after Horner, including Watson Street, which was Horner’s wife’s maiden name.
He was also one of the founders of Ripon College.
What does that mean:
While the developers plan to make the Horner home an Airbnb, Splitt noted they’re also open to the potential sale to a family.
He added that the developers also hope to give the Horner House local historic designation through the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.
How to submit:
If you have a question, the Commonwealth wants to give you an answer. Send a question, name and contact information to:
Mail: 303 Watson St., Ripon WI 54971, PO Box 262, Ripon WI 54971
E-mail: [email protected]