The Verona Area Historical Society February meeting will be accompanied by a tour – and possibly a meal.

This month’s theme is the “Transformation of Quivey’s Grove,” and the restaurant, 6261 Nesbitt Road, will host a free presentation and tour beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. There is also an option to purchase lunch after the meeting. People planning to attend the tour are asked to email or call 577-5525 to help provide a head count.

The historic home had many identities over its 160 years, with the most recent being Quivey’s Grove restaurant since 1980, VAHS president Jesse Charles wrote the Press in an email. The meeting will focus on the large restoration and renovation project of that year, which balanced maintaining historic relevance with the needs of a modern business.

The guest speaker is architect Arlan Kay, who designed and guided the property’s transformation and preservation, and is now helping the society with its museum project at the Lillesand House.

According to the 1982 application by Leonard T. Garfield that led to the Quivey’s Grove farmhouse being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building – originally the John Mann farmhouse – was erected in 1856, using sandstone from a neighboring quarry.

Mann, a New York native, arrived in Wisconsin in 1850 and operated a livery service in Madison for several years before he bought the property. Exchanging timber for sandstone from a neighbor’s quarry, he built the house and barn as the centerpiece for what became a 130-acre farm.

His son, Edward, sold the property in 1876, and it passed through several hands until sold to J. P. Comstock in 1886. The Comstock family retained ownership until 1935, when it later became the home of Dr. and Mrs. William Waskow until its conversion to Quivey’s Grove Restaurant in 1980.

“Today, it is one of the finest sandstone farmhouses still in good condition in Dane County, and its three-acre, tree-studded lot helps preserve a sense of its historic context despite the nearby encroachments of spreading urbanization,” read the application.

The application also noted the house retains “almost complete exterior integrity and much of the original interior including stone walls, hemlock floors, and a maple bannister and newel post.”

“It is considered architecturally significant both as a representative of the Italianate domestic style adapted to a rural setting, and as a fine example of native sandstone architecture in Dane County,” read the application. “Graced with quiet dignity as well as substantial construction, the house is distinguished by the warm color and careful craftsmanship of its thick sandstone block walls, by the classical Italianate proportions and detailing of its architectural features and attractive setting amid a grove of walnut trees.”

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