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319 N Ingersoll

In 1916, Madison attorney William Curkeet and his wife Mary Noe built this Federal-influenced house, on the same lot that Mary's brother Walter had built number 315 eight years prior.  As William's law practice blossomed (he was appointed Deputy Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin in 1922), the Curkeets moved to the larger lakefront house they built at 1240 Sherman Avenue in 1919.

Walter and Mary Noe were the children of Walter & Jessie Noe, who lived at 221 North Few.  Walter Sr. was the secretary of the nearby Fuller& Johnson factory, while Jessie was the granddaughter of one of Madison's original settlers and was responsible for selling most of the land that now comprises the UW Arboretum.

The house then passed to Andrew Helstrom, a Swedish pharmacist, and proprietor of the Park Hotel Pharmacy at 22 S Carroll St. Helstrom made the news on several occasions. On Sept 26 1921, he was injured when his car was struck by a street car at the intersection of North Ingersoll and East Johnson streets.  The car was destroyed but Helstom suffered only minor cuts and bruises.  During the Prohibition era, Helstrom got into the bootlegging business, distilling and running alcohol from the Park Hotel to the State Capital across the street.  He was arrested, but as his customers appeared to be prominent state legislators, he does not appear to have been severely prosecuted.  On the contrary, Helstrom seemed to prosper under Prohibition, and in 1929 moved his family from 319 to a new house in Shorewood Hills.

The house spent much of the Eighties and Nineties as a rental property, and fell into disrepair.  Our family purchased the house in 2003, and have been slowly restoring it.  The house still retains most of its original interior cabinetry and fixtures, including a foot-operated servant bell in the dining room floor.

Colm & Jane McCarthy