Elgin History Museum





The snow is gone and the sun is out – it’s a great day for a walk! This week’s house was inspired by the Near West neighborhood and the new initiative #ElginWalks. Visit downtownelgin.com/elginwalks/ for maps, walking challenges and even ways to win prizes!

443 W. Chicago Street was built in 1891 for Thomas and Martha McBride for $1,500. Thomas was the bookkeeper for his father’s company, Henry McBride and Company, which sold coal, wood, lime, cement and stone.
Martha and Thomas had three children, Stanley, Walter and Waneta. Sadly, Thomas died in 1903 at the young age of 40 leaving the family with many business debts. Due to this, the house was sold at a sheriff’s auction in 1909 where Martha was the only bidder. She kept the family home until her death in 1925.
443 W. Chicago Street is considered a part of the Spindlework sub-type of the Queen Anne Style. The home displays much of its original features including the intricate vergeboard found at the front and cross gables, the squared bay window with top panels and brackets and the delicate spindlework porch supports with lace-like brackets and frieze found at the front porch.
While you are in the Near West Neighborhood, don’t forget to check the progress on the Nancy Kimball Cobblestone House Project at 302 W. Chicago Street!
Text adapted from historicelgin.com.

1895 Map of Elgin, IL