Where Past Meets Present

Wilson King Stone House

Jeffris Family Foundation Challenges Society to Raise Funds for Stone House

Challenge Grant from JFF to spark fundraising for Wilson King Stone House project.

JANESVILLE, WI— The Rock County Historical Society (RCHS) is moving its campus development forward and is getting some local help!


RCHS applied for and received a $10,750 Challenge Grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation to aid in funding a Feasibility Study for the Wilson King Stone House, located on the RCHS campus.  This report is expected to cost $21,500, and the challenge grant requires the RCHS to raise a matching $10,750 within six months of the grant award in order to fully fund the cost of the report. The Jeffris Family Foundation, headquartered in Janesville has a mission to preserve the cultural history and heritage of the Midwest through the preservation of regionally and nationally important historic buildings and decorative arts projects.


Conducting the study is one of the first goals of the RCHS Strategic Plan. The report will assess the building’s structural and preservation needs while developing a business plan and feasibility study for its use as a catering and concessions venue. The study will be conducted by Peter Rott of Isthmus Architects. Rott was the lead architect on the restoration of the award winning Al Ringling Theatre in Baraboo, Wisconsin.


Located on the campus’ northern border and owned by the City of Janesville, the Wilson King Stone House was originally built in 1842 and used as a private residence. It was saved from demolition by a group of local residents and transported to the Tallman homestead in 1964. Since then, it has served as a museum, archives and storage facility. Plans are in place to transform it into the campus concession and catering facility, with an agricultural, farm to table theme.


“We are thrilled to be working with the Jeffris Family Foundation to address the preservation needs of the Wilson King Stone House,” said Michael Reuter, RCHS Executive Director.


“The City and the Rock County Historical Society have fostered a strong partnership to care for the campus sites and its grounds, and the Wilson King Stone House is the next focus of our Campus Master Plan. To be able to restore a historic building and repurpose it to serve as a earned revenue stream, speaks to the Society’s mission of historic preservation and strategic self-sustainability.”