387 Ryerson Avenue was built by J. A. Wright for James Bourke in 1888 for $2,000. James was a retired farmer who owned and rented several farms in the area. James was born in Ireland in 1824 and immigrated to America settling in Algonquin in 1851, retiring in 1888 in Elgin. He and his wife, Mary, had seven children including William, Ella, Julia, James, Lizzie, Mary, and Robert. James passed away in 1896 leaving the home to his grandson, also named James. However, young James was only two at the time of his Grandfather's death. Young James' father, William, rented the home for several years waiting until his son came of age to take over the home, however, in 1901, the cost they were receiving from rent ($75/year) was less than it would be to upkeep the property. Therefore, in 1901, William petitioned the court to sell the home. The Judge allowed it, and the home was sold in auction. Ironically, the only bid was from William's wife, Bridget for $900. William and Bridget kept the home until 1905 when they sold it to Truman C. Albee and his wife, Addie. 

Truman passed away in 1916 leaving the home to his wife and daughter, Lenora. Lenora died at a young age in 1925 leaving Addie sole possession of the home. Addie continued to live in the home until she slipped and fell in her kitchen and spent 129 days in Sherman Hospital before dying in 1934. There was no immediate family so the home was sold at auction for $2,180.66 in 1935.


387 Ryerson Avenue was built in the Queen Anne style with some Eastlake influences. Some of the characteristics of this style can be seen on this home including the front oriel window with mansard roof and brackets; orante window moldings; as well as the south side bay with cutaway corners. The Eastlake details include the sunburst found at the second floor of the west elevation as well as simple, geometric reliefs found throughout the exterior of the home. 



Sources: 2010 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud