227 N. PORTER STREET
After Peter and Maggie Fay married in 1886, Maggie purchased a number of lots on the east side of Ettner Avenue from Park to Addison’s Streets and put them in Peter’s name. By August, 1892 those lots were sold with exception to one which became the Fay family home at 227 N. Porter Street. In the annual review of construction in Elgin, the Elgin Daily Courier reported that the Fays built their home on Porter for $2,200.
Maggie Fay died in 1912, and Peter died 8 years later in 1920. According to his obituary in the Elgin Daily Courier, Peter operated a number of meat shops in towns surrounding Elgin. He also worked in the real estate market. Active in Elgin social life, he was a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and the Knights of Columbus.
Just before his death in 1920, Peter sold 227 N. Porter Street to Chris Kropf. When Kropf himself passed away in 1962, the house of Porter Street was part of his will, and passed on to a new owner.
227 Porter is an example of the Free Classic Queen Anne style. Advances in industrialization made it easier to construct homes made with a variety of materials in a variety of ornamental features. Some of the style’s features seen in this home include: the cross-gabled roof lines with a front-gable on the façade; decorative shingles in the gables; asymmetry; bay windows; and the full-width porch which was likely open in the original construction.
Sources: 2002 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud