332 RIVER BLUFF ROAD
In 1920, Hazel Belle Perry acquired a piece of land in the North Park Addition to Elgin which she bought from Walker O. Lewis for the sum of $1.00.
By February of 1923, Fred and Jennie Perry purchased the land from their daughter Hazel and were planning on building upon the lot. The 1923-24 Elgin City Directory lists Jennie and Fred on Alexander Avenue which later became River Bluff Road, a nod to the times when Elgin was referred to as Bluff City.
Fred was employed by the Elgin National Watch Company, as were many Elgin residents in the early 1900s. The Elgin Watch Factory put out regular issues of what they called “The Watch Word” which wrote about people and interests of the employees at the Elgin Watch Factory. In a 1923 issue of The Watch Word, they make specific mention that Fred Perry is building a bungalow along Alexander Avenue.
332 River Bluff Road is an excellent example of a Colonial Revival Cottage which that also happens to be a Sears catalogue home of “The Crescent” model style. Sears homes were exceedingly popular in the early decades of the 20th century as materials were cheaper to prefabricate as well as ship longer distances. This example of the Crescent should be distinguished from its Sears Kit Home counterparts, as this is a house built from a Sears plan but not a kit.
Character defining features include the brick chimney; the rectangular floor plan at 1.5 stories tall; the panel wood door with sidelights; cornice returns in the gables, especially the front-facing gable on the portico; and the cornice boards in general. 4-over-4 double hung windows also add the architectural style.
Sources: 1995 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud