600 MARGARET PLACE
Henry Jensen built the home for the Vincent and Eliza Lovell in 1886. In 1887, it is the first time Vincent is listed in the Elgin City Directory at 1 Margaret Place. When the address numbering system changed for the final time in 1894, 1 Margaret Place became 600 Margaret Place.
The same year marked Vincent’s win in the election for Elgin’s Mayor. He resigned in 1889 due to poor health and died in 1892. His brother later became Mayor, but did not immediately succeed Vincent. Eliza was born in England in 1844. The two met in 1876 and by September of the same year the Elgin Advocate reported that the two had wed in Germany. The two never conceived children, but did adopt two children, Henry and Ida.
The headstone at the Lovell’s gravesite is a stone cross made to appear as though it is two tree trunks. This stylistic touch to gravestone was a very common practice among those associated with the fraternal insurance organization called the Woodmen of the World. Exceedingly popular after the Civil War, one of the most important causes for the group was to make sure no member passed without having a grave marker. While it would seem the Lovell’s did not have an issue finding the funds for a gravestone, they nonetheless showcase the wood-inspired marker typical of Woodmen of the World members.
After Vincent passed, Eliza stayed in in the home for a period of time unknown, though she passed away in 1928.
600 Margaret Place is an excellent example a Queen Anne, Eastlake Stick architecture, one of the few to exist in Elgin. Significant features include various types of wood shingle cladding and the parade porch on the 2nd floor with elaborate Eastlake details.
The hipped roof with multiple cross gables is indicative of the Queen Anne style more broadly, and the project bays are also common to the style. The decorative brick chimney, angled second story bay and the angled boxed bay are character definition features for this home.
Sources: 1993 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud