A beautiful example of an early Italianate historic home built for Dr. Augustine B. Hawley out of locally quarried limestone. Italianate style and Arts and Crafts detailing (from a later renovation by Purcell and Elmslie) meld seamlessly into one via original woodwork, Tiffany and Steuben fixtures, soaring ceilings, massive wood beams, elegant staircase, hand painted ceiling, and 40 ft wide front porch. Operating as the Moondance Inn: sale also includes carriage house, furniture, and business.
Augustine Hawley arrived in Red Wing in 1857 to set up his medical practice, at the urging of a fellow Hobart classmate, and quickly became one of the preferred physicians in the area, traveling often to the countryside to see patients who were unable to come to town. He is described as a man of great character, intelligence, and charity. He was born in Caroline, New York in 1833 to Isaac A. Hawley and Anne Boyer, his father being a professor of the Classics at the University of Virginia. In 1847, he entered Hobart College at the age of 14 and graduated with a Master of Arts degree in 1852. He went on to obtain his medical degree from Geneva Medical School in 1854. He studied medicine with his uncle, Dr. Joel Hawley, but continued his studies overseas for two more years in Edinburgh, Scotland, as well as Dublin, London, and Paris, before moving to Minnesota. During the Civil War, he was appointed to sit on the examination board to qualify surgeon applicants heading out to various regiments of the Minnesota Volunteers.
Hawley was instrumental in helping establish the Christ Episcopal Church in Red Wing, inspiring his college classmate Reverend Edward. R. Welles to move to Red Wing to become the church's first minister. Welles later became the first Episcopal bishop of Wisconsin. He also encouraged a fellow class mate of Hobart College, Dr. Charles Hewitt, to move to Red Wing to take over his medical practice in 1867. Hewitt, already a distinguished doctor for his surgeon skills and preventative approach to medicine, agreed. Hewitt later helped found the Minnesota State Board of Health in 1872, and after studying at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, in 1890, he established the first laboratory for producing the smallpox vaccine in the United States on Dakota Street.
The home was built circa 1874 in the Italianate style out of locally quarried limestone. It features 15 foot tall ceilings and 8+ inch thick walls. The photo below shows details of the original front porch: thinner columns, decorative brackets, and a narrow full facade porch (all indicative of the Italianate period). Hawley died at the young age of 44 in 1878, leaving behind his wife and 8 children. They lived in the home for a few years before moving out and the home was rented. In 1903, the home was purchased by Albert F. Bullen, secretary and treasurer of the Minnesota Malting Company, who initiated a major remodel of the home two years later. The architectural firm of Purcell and Elmslie was hired to transform the interior of the home into the more up-to-date Arts & Crafts style that was popular at the beginning of the 20th century. Today the home is a fine example of how even historic homes, at one time, have undergone remodels to more "modern" styles.
As for the Arts and Craft remodel, the original oak staircase, which extended straight down towards the front entrance, was replaced by a curved walnut staircase extending into what was once a main floor bedroom. A formal dining room, with coffered ceiling, paneled walls, and an elaborate buffet, replaced a second, main floor bedroom. (These two bedrooms were occupied by the 2 dowagers, Mr. Halwey's mother and his mother-in-law.) The formal living room was expanded from two rooms into one with major additions: grand wood beams to the ceiling, relocation of the fireplace, tapestry applied to the walls, and Tiffany light fixtures. The front porch was enlarged and changed to what is seen today.
A year before Mr. Bullen's death, he sold the home to Henry Stebbins, President of the Red Wing Milling Company. Interestingly, Stebbins sold the home 12 years later to the next President of the same company, Harold Meech. Today, the home still retains most of the original features from the 1905 remodel, as well as many of the original 1875 exterior Italianate features.
The Hawley family has many stories that contribute to the history of Red Wing and Minnesota. One interesting story involves the famous bank robbery in Northfield by the James and Younger gangs in 1876. Some of the gang members stopped in Red Wing before the robbery, and upon leaving, asked a six year old boy playing on the side of the road the best way to get to Northfield. The boy told them, and in return was given a silver dollar in thanks. After news of the robbery reached Red Wing, it was found out that the men asking for directions were the robbers, and the one who tossed the coin to the boy was Cole Younger. The boy was George M. B. Hawley, the young son of Augustine Hawley.