Entire home

The Historic A.c. Carter House - River Romance on the La Crosse Historical Tour!

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4.8 / 5Exceptional
18 reviews


  • Kitchen
  • Air Conditioning
  • Pet Friendly
  • Washer


What's nearby

  • Popular Location
    Riverside Amusement Park
    20 min walk
  • Popular Location
    Shenanigans Entertainment Center & Sports Bar
    5 min drive
  • Popular Location
    Myrick Park
    6 min drive
  • Airport
    La Crosse, WI (LSE-La Crosse Municipal)
    7 min drive

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  • The Historic A.c. Carter House - River Romance on the La Crosse Historical Tour!

    Room Amenities

    • 2000 sq ft
    • 3 bedrooms
    • 2 bathrooms
    • Sleeps 10
    More details

About this area

La Crosse

Located in La Crosse, this vacation home is on a river. Swarthout Museum and Children's Museum of La Crosse are cultural highlights, and some of the area's landmarks include Hixon House and St. Rose of Viterbo Convent. Looking to enjoy an event or a game while in town? See what's happening at La Crosse Center or La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Our guests appreciate the property's quiet location.

What's nearby

  • Popular Location
    Riverside Amusement Park - 20 min walk
  • Popular Location
    Oktoberfest Grounds - 4 min drive
  • Popular Location
    Shenanigans Entertainment Center & Sports Bar - 5 min drive
  • Popular Location
    Myrick Park - 6 min drive
  • Popular Location
    Riverside Park - 6 min drive

Getting around

  • La Crosse Station - 3 min drive
  • La Crosse, WI (LSE-La Crosse Municipal) - 10 min drive

About this property

The Historic A.c. Carter House - River Romance on the La Crosse Historical Tour!

Riverfront vacation home with kitchen and patio
The A.C. Carter House is a unique and charming testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of the once wild river city of La Crosse. The personal residence of Civil War veteran, merchant, and patent medicine man Amos Claude Carter and family; it is a delightful study in the detail of whimsy that once was a part of everyday design in Victorian America. For the full history, architectural details and additional photos you may wish to send an inquiry for the historic web site. A truly unique and authentic Victorian gingerbread house! The ornate structure was restored and nominated to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1986 and photographed for the book Daughters of the Painted Ladies- America's Resplendent Victorians (one of only two homes in La Crosse chosen for that honor). It is listed on the La Crosse historical walking tour. Decorated in delightful Victorian imported wall coverings and friezes chosen to closely match the original designs and colors discovered during the restoration. The interior is furnished with a eclectic fun mix of comfortable and antique furnishings from Empire, to Victorian, to Art Deco, to Atomic Age and featuring rare massive antique 1 st Empire and Victorian bedroom suites by Anthony Quervelle of Philadelphia and Charles Lee of New Orleans. A House Adorned-The History The A.C. Carter House, Circa 1888 is significant for it’s historic connection with the economic and social development of North La Crosse, Wisconsin. It serves history as a prime example of entrepreneurial spirit , alive in La Crosse, an important Mississippi River port of the 19th century. This home is a rare, and excellent example of fine craftsmanship and detail, in the late Gothic Revival style of the Queen Anne Victorian Period of American architecture. Highly ornate, it was one of the most adorned suburban residences of the new North side subdivision at it’s time of construction. It directly reflects still, the tastes and character of it’s original occupant, and builder, Amos Claude Carter. Carter, a Civil War veteran, shot in Richmond, imprisoned in the horrific “Bull Pen” POW camp and present at Gen. Lee's surrender at Appomattox during his service, came to La Crosse in the 1880’s, and worked as a craftsman in many different area’s of construction with only one useful arm. Being of strong spirit, having been marched in “double quick” for nine days while shot through this arm and without rations for three days, he became a leader of men. Amos Carter soon became a builder and independent contractor. An entrepreneur, Amos Carter began yet another business, that of a wholesale grocer and dry goods merchant, and was among those to first build a North side business district in the 1300 block of Caledonia Street. A.C. Carter & Son, provided a good income as well as an outlet for his new venture, Fell’s Patent Medicine. Being very successful in his endeavors, he built himself the home of his dreams, and cherished it till his dying day. After his death, the home eventually passed to his youngest surviving daughter Bessie, whom occupied the home until her death in Feb, 1985. Just two months short of her 101st birthday. The home still stands today, relatively unchanged, as the legacy of the free enterprise, and spirit, that was A.C. Carter. A.C. Carters granddaughter Avis Riley, who grew up in the home, still resided in the smaller home north, until her death in 2007. We forever thank her for her invaluable contributions, and use of photographs in researching it’s history. Additional Carter Family Data Amos Claude Carter, Civil War Veteran, married Lurene Henry, *great granddaughter and direct descendent of Revolutionary War patriot Patrick Henry (“Give me liberty or give me death”) in New York, Aug. 15th 1865 the date was also recorded as Sept. 15th 1865, perhaps a 2nd wedding ceremony. This kinship being subject of an article in a Minnesota newspaper from the 1890's, shown to us by Avis Riley, about the Henry family wedding spoons presented to Amos and Lurene (aka Lorena) by a Patrick Henry descendants society. We do not know the true exact genealogical connection. They bore four children, one, a daughter Mae Bell, died in infancy. Son Claude, and daughters Maude and Bessie survived. First settled in Sparta, Wisconsin before moving to La Crosse. They lived above their dry goods store during much of the four year construction of the A.C. Carter House. The home was purchased in 1985, first restored, and is still currently owned by Dean and Signe Gronbeck-Johnson, owners of Grandeur Restorations of Madison, and it was accepted for Nomination for the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. The A.C. Carter House is featured on page 77 of the book “Daughters Of The Painted Ladies, America’s Resplendent Victorians” Elizabeth Pomada and Michael Larson authors, Douglas Keister photographer. It is widely considered the 'bible' of Victorian restorationists. One of only two La Crosse homes selected on Ms. Pomada's nationwide tour, the photographer was sent back from San Francisco to capture 2 photos during restoration to be on time for publication. Ms. Pomada described the home as one of the most delightful surprises of her tour. We are truly honored by her recognition of this wonderful home that time seemed to have forgotten. Neighborhood overview This spacious home is conveniently located in a very nice quiet North La Crosse neighborhood, very close to the major Rose St. hotel district, and two quick and direct traffic routes to downtown, and the Onalaska areas. Just blocks from beautiful riverfront parks, beach, and boat launch for enjoying terrific recreation and event opportunities. Getting around Walking distance to most anything you need (local grocery store, public library, restaurants, fast food, shopping). Short drive to the major mall district, ample parking for your vehicle and close to public transportation. Space to park your boat on trailer as well. House Rules - Later check out may be available based on calendar, please contact host if you anticipate the need for a later checkout time. - Families with children are welcome, and related minor children are free (please book for number of adults only). Children must be supervised at all times due to antique and high end finishes and furnishings. You will be responsible for all damages caused by your family and your guests. Property is photographed and inventoried between each stay period. - No "open house" parties or parties that exceed 20 persons without advance email permission from host. The caretaker is in the immediate area so please respect this rule. - All doors and windows are to be closed and locked each time you leave, and the key must be left in the lock box. - Exterior balcony use is not permitted. - Smoking allowed on exterior porches - Early check-in may be available - We love pets, however, due to past pet damages, pets are not to be left unattended inside of residence unless "crated" and additional pet fee's and deposits are required, you will be sent a separate money request for pets. - Self check-in and check-out. Guests must contact host for the current key box lock code prior to check-in and contact host to change lock code at check out. Host and/or caretaker may be on site for check in/out. - Residential zoning restricts overnight guest occupancy to groups containing no more than 3 unrelated adults, if you are using the entire house for you, your traveling companions. and/ or your extended family but your group cannot exceed more than three unrelated adults. Caretaker or host will verify the number of adults in your party. - Cleaning and pet fee's are in addition to rental rate. - No ski equipment, kayaks, waterboards, or bicycles are allowed inside the house. Contact host for special arrangements. - No burning of candles or yard torches in or on/near exterior porches. You are welcome to grill your food outside, however,no grilling on porches and no grilling within ten feet of any structure. Note; Due to the historic nature of the property, it is not ADA compliant. There is no "walk in" tub and there is no elevator to the second floor. Those with mobility disabilities are absolutely welcome but should be aware that they will likely need assistance to enter and exit the property. There is a first floor bedroom and bath. Note: We allow complete access and privacy to our guests so we cannot control what guests do in our home. Every effort has been made to maintain any unpainted original surfaces present and furnish it with authentic antique furnishings. To correctly protect and preserve these surfaces the floors, woodwork, and furnishings are not sealed in urethane coatings, we use museum grade oils to maintain the original natural finishes. The home was also heated with coal stoves and fuel oil for 112 years. If you are hypersensitive to the natural faint smell of these products, or do not wish to stay in a home that may ever have been smoked in or heated with coal or oil in the past 130 years, please consider other accommodations. The house has smelled wonderful to 99% of our guests over the 34 years that we have owned it and our house rules do not allow smoking inside the premises, that does not mean the home has never been occupied by someone that smoked tobacco or anything else. We are specifically not responsible for any smell or any kind that may have been caused by any guest that has broken our house rules. Our home is extremely clean, it is professionally ozone treated, carpets/furniture/draperies regularly cleaned, and the entire property fully cleaned, and disinfected between each guest stay. We accommodate many repeat medical travelers so we pay extra attention to providing a clean and fresh smelling accommodation for our guests. We are a licensed and inspected guest house.
Air-conditioned accommodations at this vacation home offer DVD players and coffee/tea makers. Rooms open to patios. Accommodations offer separate living rooms and include sofa beds. Kitchens offer refrigerators, stovetops, microwaves, and separate dining areas. Bathrooms include shower/tub combinations and hair dryers.
This vacation home features a garden.
This vacation home is a smoke-free property.
The recreational activities listed below are available either on site or nearby; fees may apply.

Entire place

You'll have the entire home to yourself and will only share it with other guests in your party.

Property manager

property manager

Property Manager/Owner

Speaks English



Check-in time starts at 4:00 PM

Special check-in instructions

Guests will receive an email from the property manager with check-in and check-out instructions.


Check-out before 11:00 AM

Children and extra beds

  • Children are welcome.


  • Pets allowed
  • Restrictions apply
  • For more information contact the property at the number on the booking confirmation

Property payment types


Important information

You need to know

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on property policy.
Government-issued photo identification and a credit card, debit card, or cash deposit are required at check-in for incidental charges.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in and may incur additional charges. Special requests cannot be guaranteed.
    Parties and events are allowed on site. 

We should mention

Guests can arrange to bring pets by contacting the property directly, using the contact information on the booking confirmation.

Property is also known as

  • Historic A.c. Carter House River Romance Crosse Historical Tour
  • Historic A.c. Carter House River Romance Historical Tour
  • Historic A.c. Carter River Romance Crosse Historical Tour
  • Historic A.c. Carter River Romance Historical Tour
  • Historic A.c. Carter House River Romance Crosse Historical Tour
  • Historic A.c. Carter House River Romance Historical Tour
  • Historic A.c. Carter River Romance Crosse Historical Tour
  • Historic A.c. Carter House River Romance Crosse Historical Tour
  • Historic A.c. Carter House River Romance Historical Tour
  • Historic A.c. Carter River Romance Crosse Historical Tour
  • Historic A.c. Carter River Romance Historical Tour

Property amenities


  • Close to skiing


  • Internet access

Parking and transportation

  • Onsite parking

Family friendly

  • Highchair


  • Refrigerator
  • Stovetop
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Toaster
  • Coffee/tea maker
  • Cookware/dishes/utensils


  • 3 bedrooms
  • Bed sheets provided
  • Sofa bed


  • 2 bathrooms
  • Shower/tub combination
  • Towels provided
  • Hair dryer

Living spaces

  • Living room
  • Dining room


  • TV
  • DVD player
  • Books
  • Video library
  • Games
  • Music library
  • Stereo

Outdoor areas

  • Patio
  • Garden


  • Washing machine and dryer


  • Air conditioning
  • Heating


  • Smoke-free property

Services and conveniences

  • Iron/ironing board

Location highlights

  • On the river

Things to do

  • Ecotours nearby
  • Rock climbing nearby
  • Snowmobiling nearby
  • Water skiing nearby
  • Hiking/biking trails nearby
  • Kayaking nearby


  • Sleeps 10
  • Unit size: 2000 sq ft (186 sq m)

Nearby things to do


The recreational activities listed below are available either on site or nearby; fees may apply.
  • Snowboarding nearby
  • Water skiing nearby
  • Ecotours nearby
  • Rock climbing nearby
  • Snowmobiling nearby
  • Hiking/biking trails nearby
  • Kayaking nearby
  • Cross-country skiing nearby


5 - Excellent
4 - Good
3 - Okay
2 - Mediocre
1 - Poor

4/5 Good

    Family Reunion!

    Wonderful experience at a terrific location! Would rebook this home in a heartbeat, our host/owner was very attentive to our needs and exceeded every expectation. Thank you for a tremendous memory in an absolutely incredible environment!

    5/5 Excellent

      Short weekend getaway

      Very convenient location to La Crosse and surrounding area. Well kept up old historic house with lots of antiques from days gone by.

      5/5 Excellent

        Beautiful house

        House was an excellent blend of old and new. Owner made us feel welcome and provided more than we would have expected. House was clean and comfortable. We had a very busy schedule while in La Crosse, wish we had more time to spend in the house. Will definitely book again if in the area. Thanks Signe.

        5/5 Excellent

          it couldn’t;t have been better.

          Signe and Deano, What a grand time we had. Th children were thrilled with this formal home, that had its own castle. We all will smile every time we think of our stay. Not only was your home a blessing , but so were you and Deano. Fondly, Bonnie Derr

          5/5 Excellent

            A beautiful historic home uniquely charming, invitingly warm and comfortable

            We needed a place to host our family Thanksgiving dinner. We also needed a place that our older children could have some personal space. The A.C. Carter House filled those requirements and more. It was such a treat to “live” in this home, a piece of history, for a few days. Our daughter chose the canopy bedroom which was just perfect for her. Our son was in total agreement as he chose the blue bedroom with the more heavy antique bed frame. It was just right for him. We chose the main bedroom that housed a bed frame over 200 years old. We learned a lot about the house and the people who built it and lived there. Our dinnner conversations usually drifted toward the history of the place. Yet with all the history surrounding us, we did not lack for modern appliances and a very cozy warm home. My favorite feature were the stained glass windows and the architectural characteristics of the home. The outside yard and garden looked lovely from the windows. It was indeed a wonderful experience. Thanks Signe. We look forward to seeing the restorations you have planned sometime next summer or fall!

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