Office of the President

Brittingham House History

Setting the Stage: The Highlands

Photo of the Brittinghams, 1917
Owen Conservation Park in the Highlands

The area surrounding Dunmuven, known as the Highlands, was originally the property of Edward T. Owen, a French professor at UW-Madison and vice president of the Highlands Company, the group that would eventually develop the property. With Madison’s population on the rise, Owen saw the opportunity to cultivate the land to meet the needs of wealthy Madisonians for "large lots, pure air, unexalted views, permanently safeguarded conditions, charming drives and parks."

Owen’s former farm and personal retreat have since become the 93-acre Owen Conservation Park, sitting just across Old Sauk Road from the Brittingham House.

When the Brittinghams purchased 30 acres from Owen in 1910, the area was unforested. It would not be until noted Chicago landscape architect O.C. Simonds would implement a planting plan, that the Highlands would become the woodland haven it is today.

>> Architect Frank Riley

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