Somebody buy this place!
This historic roundhouse/octagon house treasure was built in 1856 as the home of the first mayor of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
The property – which is currently for sale for a very affordable $186,900 – consists of a main house with 5 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, with additional bonus space including a heated workshop. Plus, there is a detached two-story studio apartment in a carriage house.
Notably, the 1856 Octagon House served as a station along the Underground Railroad.
There are 9 unique passageways in the main house including an underground tunnel to the workshop!
The structural oddities of the dwelling allowed for secret hiding compartments for stop-overs while transporting slaves by waterway along the nearby Fond du Lac River.
In recent decades, the Octagon House was open to the public and hosted bus tours and costumed theme dinners, attracting people from all over the world to view its unique architecture and learn about its colorful past.
The living room has a false fireplace with a small wooden stairway behind it and there is also a secret room adjacent to a second-story bedroom, with a cryptic message carved in the lath that seemed to be giving directions to a meeting place.
The longtime steward/owner of the Octagon House, Marlene Hansen, came to acquire the structure back in the early 1970s when a group of preservationists fought to save the building from demolition by the state.
Marlene embarked on a decades-long project of restoring the home.
Now in her 70s, Marlene feels it is time to pass the Octagon home onto others who can care for it and give it the constant TLC that the historic treasure demands.
We get just a glimpse of the kitchen in the listing photos:
Have a look at the sweet vintage bathroom below:
And look at this odd little space that seems to have no purpose other than to confound:
Such is the intrigue of the Octagon house!
In the cellar, apart from the secret passageways, there are collections of antique bottles and containers…
The detached two-story studio rental is depicted below:
The listing claims the rental unit brings in a whopping $1800/month!
The unique shape and fascinating history of Wisconsin’s famous Octagon house make it a desirable prize for a preservation-minded old house lover.
At $186,900, the price is more than reasonable.