In 1931, William A. Johnston, a retired farmer, contracted with William Howe to build a house and garage on a lot within the Riverside Park Addition of Elgin.  Johnston also secured a building permit for $7,400.  The Riverside Park Addition was not attached to the Elgin city sewer system at that time nor were there paved streets in the area.  Even so, Johnston built an attractive brick home at 522 River Bluff Road in 1931.

By 1941, William Johnston had decided to sell his house, but not before making an affidavit explaining the he and another person of similar name were two completely different parties.  It seems that the other party was in legal proceedings with some of the lending institutions in town and William A. Johnston clear up the confusion before selling the house clean and clear.

Johnston sold his house to William and Pauline Byrne who kept 522 River Bluff for just over a year before selling to Walter and Josephine Kinney. 


522 River Bluff Road is a nice example of a Tudor Revival style.  Built in 1931, it has a rectangle floor plan, 2-stories tall with a side, clipped, gabled roof and a number of double hung 6-over-1 windows. Significant, character defining features include the steeply pitched roof – especially indicative of the Tudor Revival style – the molded wood cornice; wood paneled font door; the enclosed side porch with box columns and the one car brick detached garage.



Sources: 1995 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud