Edgewood College

Sacred Heart Academy     Built 1894     Demolished 1969
Edgewood College's site, 55 acres of property on the north shore Madison's Lake Wingra. The first person to build a structure on the site was John Ashmead, who in 1855 erected a colonial-style mansion on the crest of a hill overlooking Lake Wingra. Ashmead had purchased the land from Leonard J. Farwell, then serving a second term as Wisconsin's governor.

Ashmead sold the Villa and lakeside property to Samuel Marshall in the spring of 1857. Marshall was famous in Wisconsin banking history – State Bank in Madison (1852). Samuel Marshall and his family lived there until 1873.

In September of 1873, Marshall sold the property to Civil War General, entrepreneur, and then-governor of Wisconsin Cadwallader Colden Washburn. Washburn named it Edgewood Villa.

In 1881, after losing re-election, Washburn decides to donate the Villa and the grounds to the Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters to use in perpetuity “for educational purposes.”

The Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation had founded St. Regina Academy, a school for both boarding girls and non-boarding boys and girls in Madison, near the Capitol at the corner of West Washington and South Henry. (The building, which was across from St. Raphael's, no longer exists.)

The Dominican Sisters moved their St. Regina Academy to the Edgewood property. First as an academy (grade & high school levels), and later, beginning in 1927, a college. The academy, still named St. Regina Academy, was housed in the former governor's Villa until November 16, 1893, when a tragic fire destroyed the Villa and resulted in the deaths of three of the youngest boarding pupils.

The academy re-opened in a new building in the fall of 1894, under a new name, Sacred Heart Academy at Edgewood. Other buildings were gradually added to the entire campus, particularly after 1950 as the college expanded.

Woodland Native American peoples left many effigy and burial mounds on the property.


Marshall Hall 1864-1942