Olson House

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Historic Preservation Commission Logo Earnest J. Colby House


Olson House
87 Elmhurst Street
Built 1927

The Olson House is a well-preserved example of bungalow architecture. These compact one to one-and-a-half story homes were popular among people earning modest incomes between 1900 and the 1930s. Characteristics of the bungalow style found in the Olson Home are deep eaves, gable dormers, wooden shingle siding, and three-over-one window sashes. The five-sided room projecting from the front of the home is particularly unique. 

Hilding Olson built this home for his wife Martha and two young sons. A third son, Raymond, was born in 1929. The Olsons were no strangers to this neighborhood. When the boys were born and during their early years, they were members of the Swedish Lutheran Church (Bethany) just down the block. Hilding had helped with the church’s construction as well as several other houses in the neighborhood. The Olson family lived here until 1940.

Tracing the history of a house can sometimes be tricky. Portions of a lot, name changes, trusts, and other legal items sometimes create a puzzle that is difficult to solve. Initially, the house was misnamed during the landmark process. Fortunately, the Olson’s son Raymond was visiting Crystal Lake and called attention to the misnomer. Armed with additional information, the property was researched again, and a proper plaque has been applied to the structure.  

87 Elmhurst-1937 OLSON FAMILY-no words

1937 photo of Olson House and family
(Photo provided by Ray Olson)