1012 Duncan Avenue was built around 1868 for William and Olida Lown for $800. It was one of the first two homes to be built on Duncan Avenue. The Lown's did not own the property long until selling it to Melvin Armstrong. Armstrong then sold the property to Robert Boag who was a mason in Elgin. He owned the property until 1881 when he gave the property to his daughter, Margaret. In the 1875 Elgin City Directory, Margaret is listed as a milliner. A milliner is someone who is in the profession of hat making. During the 18th century, this would have been a woman's occupation and they created bonnets, chose laces as well as accessories in addition to hats to complete a final ensemble for their customer. 

Margaret Boag sold the home in 1890 to Charles J. and Anna (nee Bartram) Rouley. Charles immigrated from England around 1855 and Anna immigrated from Germany. They married on April 26, 1890 and had five daughters, Lizetta, Verna, Charlotte, Agnes and Emmeline, and two sons, Joseph, Benjamin. They remained in the home until 1931 when their daughter, Lizetta, took over ownership.


1017 Duncan Avenue is is a nice example of the Italianate style, exhibiting a number of its most common characteristics including its low pitched hipped roof with wide overhanging eaves. 1017 Duncan is a square, symmetrical home with tall, narrow two-over-two double-hung windows found throughout most of the home. Double front doors, square porch supports and window hoods also add to the Italianate details.  



Sources: 1996 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud