History of this Timeless Victorian Treasure
In 1987, the Wauwatosa Historical Society purchased a stately Victorian house, coach house, and 1.5 acres of gardens and grounds. The Kneeland-Walker House is used for educational programs, preservation work, archival storage, artifact displays, and community events. This treasure stands as one of Wauwatosa’s greatest community assets.
The Queen Anne house was built in 1890 and sits on 1.5 acres of land, the largest remaining residential lot in Wauwatosa. The society purchased the buildings and grounds from the estate of Constance Walker in 1987. The property is a designated landmark of Wauwatosa and Milwaukee County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The house was built for Norman and Carrie Baker Kneeland. The Kneelands lived here with four of their seven children.
Mr. Kneeland was a manufacturer in New York before moving to Wisconsin and purchasing a farm in what is now the Washington Park area. They sold the farm and moved here in 1890, just before Wauwatosa was incorporated (1892). The well-to-do Kneelands were active locally in both civic and social affairs.
Mr. Kneeland died in 1900, but the house remained in his family until 1917. The house next door to the west was built for one of their daughters.
Emery and Mabelle Scott Walker purchased the house in 1917. Mr. Walker was vice president of Kieckhefer Box Company. The Walkers raised their three daughters in this house. A creative man with an engineering degree from Cornell University, Mr. Walker was also an inventor. He enjoyed maintaining and improving the home, adding bathrooms, remodeling the kitchen area, and installing other conveniences. The Walkers kept several horses in the Coach House and paddock.
Wauwatosa Historical Society
In 1987 the Wauwatosa Historical Society purchased the property for $225,000 for use as its headquarters. The house is now a model for historic preservation and a center for society and community events.