Stoughton landmark commission honors four for preservation work

The Iverson-Johnson house, also known as the Dragon House, 327 E. Washington St., was built in 1898.

Four Stoughonites were honored by the Stoughton Landmarks Commission last week with the group’s Historic Preservation Awards for 2020-21.

Carol Vander Sluis, Crystal Francksen, Eric Francksen, Dave Kalland were recognized at the Nov. 9 Common Council meeting for their “stewardship of our shared heritage and for their work to maintain and protect the unique and historic character of the city of Stoughton.”

Vander Sluis was honored for her work restoring the facade of Hales’ Dry Goods Store,the Francksens for their reconstruction of the dragons on the Iverson-Johnson house, and Dave Kalland for his long-time work “preserving the historic architectural and cultural heritage of Stoughton.”

Stoughton Landmarks Commission chair Todd Hubing said Vander Sluis “completely rehabilitated” the masonry and large windows in the building’s front, preserving the historic nature of the building. He said she’s also done restoration work throughout the building.

“If you haven't seen it, you should stop by, it's a beautiful building,” Hubing said. “Carol has basically turned what was an empty storefront into a thriving business that brings people downtown.”

The Francksens are the owners of the Iverson-Johnson on 327 E. Washington, built in 1898 -- also known as the “Dragon House for its distinctive rooftop dragons.”

“It’s) one of the most iconic residential architectural features in all of Stoughton, in my opinion,” Hubing said. “They retained and carefully repaired as much of the original dragons as possible and meticulously rebuilt the missing components, and I think the results look amazing. They basically restored the most distinguishing feature of one of Stoughton’s iconic landmarks.”

Kalland, the long-time president of the Stoughton Historical Society, was recognized for his many efforts to restore historic buildings around the city. Those include the old Stoughton Universalist Church (built in 1858) on South Page Street ,the Luke Stoughton house (built in 1847) now located at 515 N. Division St., and the Chicago-Milwaukee-St. Paul railroad depot (built in 1913) which is now the Stoughton Chamber of Commerce building.

“The commission feels Dave has influenced the community and the preservation of places that tell the history of Stoughton,” Hubing said. “It cannot be understated how grateful for his service and unwavering commitment to Stoughton's architectural and cultural history.”

Contact reporter Scott De Laruelle

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