612 PROSPECT BOULEVARD
In the early 1880s, horse owners regularly used Prospect Street to exercisee their horses, much to the dismay of police and other locals. By 1882, City Council set apart the street and converted Prospect Street into Prospect Boulevard. As the boulevard grew, so too did the number of houses building up on its lots.
Corliss and Willis Simons were the first owners at the 612 Prospect Boulevard property. After living there together for a number of years the house transferred to a widower, Christian Richmann, in 1890 for $3500. Richmann owned Richmann Brothers Drug Store in downtown Elgin along with his brother, A.F.W. Richmann, who lived at what became 637 Prospect. Three months later, Richmann sold the property for $4000 to Adin Swan, a retired farmer from Ringwood, Illinois.
In January of 1906 while checking on his horses in the barn Adin suffered a heart attack and died shortly thereafter. Four years later, his wife Achsah passed away leaving the house to her only surviving son, Hoyt and his wife Anna. Before her death, however, Achsah was an active community member. She was involved with the Prospect Street Church and its adjoining Sunday School. Hoyt Swan, his wife, Anna, and his family moved into 612 Prospect in 1911, remaining there in 1945.
612 Prospect Boulevard is an example of the Gable-Front-and-Wing style, a vernacular descendant of Greek Revival houses. Popular from around the 1850s until roughly the 1930s, elements of the Gable-Front-and-Wing style are a front facing gable, steeply pitch roof, a side-gabled wing at a right angle to the body of the house and a shed roof made in an L-shape formed by the wing above the front porch. Minimal decorative detail of varying styles was also added as seen here above the windows on the facade.
Sources: 2006 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud