216 ELM STREET

HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE

Built in 1888 for Bent Christopherson by M.O. Claren. Bent was born in 1845 in Norway and immigrated to the United States in 1868. He married Sophronia in 1874 who also immigrated from Norway. Prior to moving to Elgin in 1883, Bent and Sophronia resided in Wisconsin. Bent and Sophronia had three daughters, Olga, Singa and Bertha as well as one son, Edwin.

ARCHITECTURAL SIGNIFICANCE

216 Elm Street, though simplistic, was designed in the Queen Anne style and is a contributing structure to his area. One of its most significant features is its L-shaped, open porch with stone piers and round columns. Of interest is the eagle centrally placed on the front gable. This was a sign of homeowners to show their patriotism however has a unique connection to a homeowner paying off their mortgages as a sign of freedom. This tradition became popular during the United States’ bicentennial when many Americans wanted to show their national pride. 

TIMELINE OF PREVIOUS OWNERS

 

Sources: Fina A Grave; Audio: TextAloud