Mitchell Mansion’s Classic Fountain, 1880
Photos of Alexander Mitchell's mansion and its classic fountain, 1880, and as the place looks today.
It is a shame that the property of the Wisconsin Club has so much space devoted to surface parking. When Alexander Mitchell lived here in the 1870s and 1880s the grounds were devoted to greenhouses and gardens. This photograph is a stereoview, circa 1880, by H. H. Bennett, the famed Wisconsin photographer best known for his 19th century images of the Wisconsin Dells area.
In this Bennett image, the emphasis in less on Mitchell’s mansion and more on its fountain and grounds and the mansion’s elegant tower. The fountain is naturalistic and constructed with rustic rocks, in contrast to the otherwise formal landscaping. When looked at as a stereview, it provides a 3-D effect with Bennett making excellent use of the fountain’s jets of water.
Jeff Beutner is a collector of photographs, postcards and stereoviews of old Milwaukee. This column features these images, with historical commentary by Beutner.