In 1885, John Gillett purchased the property lot at what would become 665 Forest Avenue. Gillett purchased the land for $200 and sold it five years later for $1,500 after building a home and developing the property. The 1890-91 Elgin City Directory is the first time Julius Peterson is listed as the owner of 63 Forest Avenue. When Elgin’s address numbering system was changed for the fourth and final time in 1894, 63 Forest became 665 Forest.

Julius Peterson worked for the Elgin Watch Factory in the Plate Department, starting therein 1892. Before retiring in 1931, he was the secretary-treasurer of the factory’s Employee Advisory Council for 7 years. He passed away in 1956, at the age of 90.

His legacy outlived his stay in the Forest Avenue home, however, and in 1912 Boles Boguslouski purchased the home. Boguslouski was a painter by trade and live there with his wife.  When he passed, his widow continued living there for 10 more years.  

During the lean Great Depression years, the house shifted from single-family to apartment use.  From 1935 on, 665 Forest was again a single-family home, seeing a number of owners throughout the years.


665 Forest Avenue is an example of the Gable-Front style. Popular from around the 1850s until the roughly the 1930s, core elements of the Gable-Front style include a front-gabled, steeply-pitched roof. The rounded porch wrapping around the corner with classic columns was built later, a nod to other architectural influences of the time, first showing up in the 1903 Sanborn Map. The façade is asymmetrical, and the front window shows a large window pane with a narrow rectangular section at the top, which in combination with the added porch speak to some Queen Anne influences.



Sources: 2001 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud