Sawyer Home and Grounds
The Sawyer’s carriage house, located on the southwest side of the grounds, was also built in 1908. The structure originally served as a garage and stable, with three box stalls for horses, a carriage room and garage space for four automobiles. It is rumored that the center bay had a car washing apparatus installed, and no car was ever put away after use until it was cleaned. Over the stable was a hayloft, and over the garage stalls on the second floor was a six-room flat where the Sawyer’s caretaker and his family lived. Mr. Sawyer parked his Pierce-Arrow automobile in the garage. The structure was reported by the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern as being “as expensive and fully as handsome as many of the residences of Oshkosh.”
The carriage house now serves as the Museum’s main work and collections storage area. The structure houses all collections except for fine art, textiles and archives. Two mobile storage units have been installed, one in early 2012, to increase storage space. The Museum’s woodshop is located in one of the carriage house’s outer bays and it is here that much exhibit fabrication work takes place. The other outer bay of the structure serves as storage space for the Museum’s grounds care equipment. Many modifications, including installation of a fire suppression system, have been made to the building in order to adapt it from its initial function as a horse and carriage storage area to a historic artifact storage facility. Still, many aspects of the building severely limit the Museum’s storage capacity, such as small rooms, slanted ceilings and windows.