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Hearthstone Historic House –


Haunted Place: Hearthstone Historic House Museum


625 West Prospect Avenue
Appleton, Wisconsin   54911


The Hearthstone Historic House Museum is located across from the Fox River, between a main drag S. Memorial Drive (47) and S. State Street, in an area which once housed the well-to-do in Appleton.


Tom and I stopped by for a visit during our June of 2007 road trip. Though it was closed, it is surely is an imposing, solid, 4 story grand old lady with upscale gray stone/brick with wooden decoration & trim, steep roofing style and huge brick fireplace chimneys; all the proper Victorian architecture, including the porch which winds around the structure.

In 1882, Henry J. Rogers was an industrialist in Appleton who had made his fortune establishing a paper plant. The hydrogen electric plant located on the banks of the river, not only provided electricity for his paper plant but also  for  his glorious Victorian; becoming the first home in the world to have electricity from a centrally located hydroelectric station, which used Thomas Edison's  newly designed system

The Hearthstone Historic House Museum has the original electrical hardware, electroliers and light switches.

This restored 1882 Victorian Hearthstone House has a lovely late 1890s decor, including "intricate woodwork, stunning fireplaces and exquisite glass windows." There is also antique furniture and Victorian decorative touches, like the restored, multi-colored parlor ceiling.

The dining room has a gorgeous view of the Fox River.

From 1900 - 1930, A.W. Priest enjoyed living here until he died.

This Victorian mansion got its name from John Badenoch, who rented this mansion and opened an upscale restaurant, called The Hearthstone, and the name stuck.

Eventually, an organization formed, called The Friends of Hearthstone, which stepped in to save and renovate this old house, for the enjoyment and education of the public.

The mission and promise of Friends of Hearthstone, Inc. is "to restore and preserve Hearthstone, a Victorian landmark house, and to re-create a historical experience based on its Thomas A. Edison heritage for the cultural enjoyment and educational benefit of the public."

A variety of displays which are changed monthly offering visitors interesting information and items to peruse and study.  A big favorite is the Victorian Christmas display which is up during the holiday season.



A.W. Priest was a successful entrepreneur and a much loved philanthropist. He was the second owner of Hearthstone Mansion, buying this beautiful Victorian mansion  for his family's residence, and happily lived there until 1930, when he died.


The entity of A.W. Priest, former owner is said to make his home here for his after-life.

Auditory experiences:

Staff and others have heard unusual sounds, like someone sneezing when no one living did the sneezing.

Volunteers often feel the disapproving unseen presence, watching them intently.

When she opens up the museum for the day,The office manager always says, "Good Morning, Mr. Priest," upon entering the mansion.


Yes indeed!

This entity doesn't quite trust the living with his home, and feels the need to keep a sharp eye on the volunteers.  He loved his house and isn't ready to leave it just yet.





The Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations
By Chad Lewis & Terry Fisk
pg. 90-91
Unexplained Research CO