Who we are and our history
I actually grew up in New Berlin, but moved away when I was 22. I lived in Arizona and outside of Washington DC for 23 years. My dad passed away 2 years ago, so I came back to Wisconsin to help my mom and sister. I love Watertown! It has such fantastic history and the people are wonderful. It is exactly the kind of town I would brag about to my East Coast friends 🙂
As a small girl I dreamed of owning a bed and breakfast, and all the fascinating people I would meet. Crazy how some dreams come true!
I grew up in Pittsburgh, and still remain a loyal Steelers fan. At an early age, my grandfather and father taught me how to use tools, gave me the love of working with my hands, and the satisfaction of a job well done. I joined the Navy right out of high school, and spent a few weekends drinking in Wisconsin after boot camp in Chicago. I served 11 years active duty and 12 years in the Reserves, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander in 2009. My wandering feet and natural curiosity led me through a variety of careers. After working too many years for the Government in DC, a move to the heartland of the country was a welcome respite. Obviously not a native Wisconsinite, I quickly fell in love with small town living and am happy to call many people here friends.
Who We Are
We stumbled upon this beautiful, turn of the century Victorian home when it was placed on auction during the summer of 2017. The house was rough, to say the least, but most of the original features were still intact and in relatively good shape. We fell in love instantly. After a tension filled bidding war, we won! And so began this wonderful journey.
The Katherine Holle History
We have been researching the history of the house. We have found very few records of the house and have had to piece everything together from City records and conversations with local residents. After days spent at the local library we discovered that John Thauer was the original owner of the house, and we believe it was completed around 1902. To this day, we have not come up with any photos of the house, except a grainy, black and white picture from a 1954 tax record.
John’s father Georg Nicholas Thauer arrived in Watertown in the late 1860’s and many of his 10 children settled here as well. John and his brothers were business men; lawyers; realtors; and merchants. The law firm of Skinner and Thauer practised in Watertown into the 1970’s. John had a daughter Katherine whom we named the house after. The Holle name comes from Keri’s family who kindly donated the family reed organ that graces the parlor. The 1890’s reed organ originally belonged to Cora Idsinger, Keri’s great-grandmother. Cora played the organ in the church her father pastored.
During the renovation, many people have stopped by to introduce themselves and ask questions about the house. We have met people who have lived in the house in the past, some who have played in it as children, some who knew the previous owners, and many who are simply excited to see this beautiful house being brought back to life.
To see pictures and learn more about the renovation, click here.