Elmer and Anna Ryder purchased the lot to become 381 River Bluff Road from Alfred Church in 1927. In early 1928 the Ryders secured a mortgage and a building permit and soon after a home was constructed on the lot. The Ryders remained at 381 River Bluff Road until the mid 1930s. During this time, Elmer's occupation was listed as President of Ryder Manufacturing. Ryder manufacturing was a manufacturer of automobile accessories. 

The Ryders sold their home to James and Mary Nichols who resided in the home until the early 1940s. James was employed by the Carpentersville Iron and Bolt Company. By 1943, George Ensign owned the property. George was the Director of Engineering Research at the Elgin Watch Factory and remained the home for 30 years. 


The original building permit simply described 381 River Bluff Road as an "English Home." It has a side-gabled hip capped roof line with a dominant asymmetrical front gable. The dominant entry gable exemplifies the English Tudor style; however, the hip capped side gables reflect a continental rather than English variation of the Tudor style. There are shed dormers which are clad in stucco on the front and rear facades of the home with four-over-one paned window in the front dormer and three, three-over-one paned windows in the rear dormer.

The dramatic front entryway features a rounded arch front door with projecting brick forming a repetitive rounded arch above the doorway all set in an asymmetrically pitched front gable. The chimney narrows as it rises above the roof line and establishes itself as a dominant feature of the front facade, typical of English Tudor architecture. Windows are double-hung, five-over-one paned with concrete sills as added ornamentation. The windows on the first floor east and west sides are grouped in threes typical of the Tudor style.



Sources: 1996 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud