Prior to the opening of Oak Hill Cemetery in 1851, this was the site of the cemetery for early settlers. The graves and bodies were moved to the new cemetery, and in 1859 an Italianate style high school, known as Jefferson School, was built. The building was demolished in 1947 and converted to a park.
Italianate style (1850-1885) is based on the architecture of Renaissance Italy,
particularly rural houses of Tuscany. It was a very popular style in America
before the Civil War, and there are many varieties in Janesville, ranging from
stone mansions to one-story cottages. Narrow clapboard siding clad the exterior
of most examples, such as the Thomas Lappin House, but cream brick and stone
were employed at the William M. Tallman House.