705 DOUGLAS AVENUE
In the early 1870s, Lucy Lovell sold some of the lots she owned in the forested area on the north end of Douglas Avenue, Brook Street and Grove Avenue. As time passed, the entire block was divided into 4 lots and then further divided into parcels. By the mid-1880s, houses started to appear.
In 1903, following a series of legal transactions, a part of lot 3 located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Lovell Street ended up in the possession of William M. Krueger. Krueger worked for August Scheele, Elgin’s largest grocery store.
In 1904, Krueger built a home upon his acquired land for the cost of $3,400, and likely built 705 Douglas Avenue himself. William and his wife, Anna, had two children together, Velda and Iris. Together, the family lived in the home until 1915, when they sold it to John and Myrtle Collins.
It was next owned by William and James Higgins who had a cigar manufacturing company in town. After the Higgins, 705 Douglas was, for a time, used to house nurses working at St. Joseph Hospital.
705 Douglas Avenue is a nice example of the Shingle style home. Common during the Victorian period like its Queen Anne cousin, there are a number of features indicative of the style. Character defining features include the continuous wood wall cladding into the gables; no interruptions at wall corners; irregularly shaped and steeply pitched roofs; and extensive porch with classic styled columns. An identifying feature of the Shingle style but not often seen, includes the tower on the southwest corner of the home.
In 1995, this home was featured on the Gifford Park Association’s Historic House Walk.
Sources: 1998 Heritage Plaque Application; Audio: TextAloud