528 ASHLAND AVENUE
In 1890, Peter Larson bought lot 12 of block 8 in the Hintz Subdivision. In the annual article of construction permits, the Elgin Daily Courier reported that Peter Larson had a cottage built on Ashland Avenue for $1,000. By the 1894-95 Elgin City Directory, Peter is listed as the owner and occupant of 528 Ashland.
Peter Larson was a stonemason, immigrating to Elgin from Sweden in 1887. He got a job working for a well-known stonemason in town named Andrew Magnus. Evidence of Peter’s trade existed in the home for a number of years following his leaving the home in the form of a kiln and cooling tub. Peter and his wife Christine raised five children in the home before selling it in 1919.
The Larson family sold 528 Ashland in 1919 to Elinor and Roy Krabbe. After the stock market crash of 1929 hit the Krabbe family hard, like so many across America, they made a deal with the Elgin Lumber Company to hold the title, until all debts were paid. Such debts were paid off and the house stayed with the Krabbe family until 1983.
528 Ashland shows many features of the Gable Front family of homes. Popular for many years through the turn of the 19th century for their simplicity is design and thus price, some of features seen in 528 include the front gable, 1 and ½ stories in height and lack of any highly decorative details. A large dormer sits on the south side of the property, with a bay window sitting below. Tapered porch supports on the front and rear porches were not common in the 1890s, suggesting that they were later stylistic additions.
Sources: 2001 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud