207 S. Encinitas Ave.
Block No: D
Lot No: 17
Construction Year: 1924
Style Detail: Simple wood frame
Style Altered? No
Location Changed? No
Subdivision: B&G Subdivision
South Encinitas Avenue didn’t even exist in April of 1887 when this area, which was formerly Block 2, Lots C& D of the Monrovia Tract was subdivided and renamed the B&G Subdivision. However, as one can see by the subdivision map, a 50-foot wide rode between the two lots was planned. What can’t be seen on the map is this planned road dead-ended to the south at East Palm Avenue (in Whittemore’s Subdivision), though on the north end it opened up to E. White Oak, now E. Foothill Blvd. The decision to cut the road through to East Lime happened quickly as it is shown that way in a 1904 Monrovia map.
The lots sold quickly. Most of the lots, including Lot 17, were valued at $300. One year later, their value was cut in half. The 1888 tax roll shows that Lot 17's first owner by Edwin P. Large, a well-to-do merchant who had a furniture store in town. Since he had already built a fine Victorian house for himself elsewhere in Monrovia, he seemed to have held on to the property until 1902 when Mrs. M.L. Butts purchased. She also had a fine home on Hillcrest, so she must have bought the land as an investment. It was a good investment as the land was only valued at $75 when she bought it, but when she sold it to A.L. Smith in 1906, it was valued at $200.
Smith sold the property the same year to H.J. Thomas who held onto it for three years, selling it to Laura E. Phillips in 1908 or 1909. By then, the value of the property was $350. Phillips only owned it for one year, selling it and Lot 16 to John E. and Ella J. Bunker, who had previously purchased Lot 18 in 1907, built a house on it and were living in it (203 S. Encinitas).
The Bunkers continued to own Lots 16-19 for a long time. It is unclear if they still owned Lot 17 when the house was built on it, most likely in 1924. There are no permits for the property, and it doesn’t appear in the city directory until 1924. The Bunkers may have built the house as a rental, as they continued living at 203 S. Encinitas until 1930, and the Monrovia directories show numerous families living at the 207 S. Encinitas house. For example, in three years, three families lived at 207 S. Encinitas: in 1925, Uriah R. & Lizzie Bowers; in 1927, J.H. Barton; and in 1928, John and Blin Zerell.
The house is shown on the 1927 Sanborn Fire Insurance map (see illustration) to be a simple square with a small front porch and a detached garage. However, the permit filed in 1960 for the demolition of the house describes it as being six-room house with garage, so there were non-permitted additions over the years.
The Baptist Church, though it has an address of 225 S. Encinitas, is in Whittemore’s addition, just south of Lot 16 of the B&G Subdivision. In the late 1950's, the church purchased Lots 16-18 and tore down the houses on each of them for an education center.
No pictures of the exterior of the house exist, and no other houses built at this same time period are still standing to compare it with. Notations on the Sanborn Map indicate that it was a wood-frame house. It most likely had no Victorian architectural features as the houses on either side, Lots 16, 18, and 19 had because they had been built between 1904 and 1907.