During the years the mansion operated an orphanage for the state of Wisconsin and for Wood County, as many as 100 kids came through the system. Every room housed orphans, classrooms, and washing / dining operations. The twins Madison and TyAnn came together around 1900, but unfortunately in 1902 TyAnn died of typhus. Madison adjusted poorly to her sister’s death, but eventually she found the pond out front a convenient place to talk to TyAnn.
This photo taken in 1904. The pond held fish and aquatic plants in the summer, then in winter it became a small skating rink for the orphans.