220 E. Lime Ave.
Block No: H
Lot No: 8
Construction Year: 1911
Architectural Style: Craftsman
Style Detail: A 1911 newspaper article states that Robert Perry is building a "chalet style" bungalow.
Contractor: Robert Perry
Style Altered? No
Location Changed? No
Owner(s): John Hillseth
Subdivision: Town of Monrovia
Tax records show that the property was owned by Lewis Joseph Beer from 1888 until 1893, when the property was sold by the Beer heirs to Josiah H. Gray, who was living in El Monte, in 1893. Gray died shortly thereafter, and in 1895, the property was sold to T.J. Martin. The tax records list T.J. Martin as delinquent for the 1896, and it seems he didn't hold the property very long, if it all (the tax records be mistaken, because also in the 1896, J.D. Cleminson is listed as owner. Cleminson was the husband of Josiah Gray's granddaughter.J.D. Cleminson owned the property from 1895 until 1901. In 1902, the property was purchased by Charles Bradshaw who sold it to John Hillseth in 1906. That same year, the tax records report an improvement on Lot 8 valued at $500, but that improvement does not appear in the record for 1907.
John Hillseth's money problems reflected the economic depression of 1907. The Los Angeles County tax records show his property belonging to W.R. Powell, but the local tax records do not list him. There is a note in the County tax records that the property was purchased in December of 19081, but it doesn't give the name of the person who bought it. Since both the County and local tax records list John Hillseth as the owner in 1909, it could be that Hillseth purchased the property back from W.R. Powell. The local tax records show Hillseth is delinquent in his taxes every year from 1908-1910. At this time, property taxes were due in December, and local record shows that the property tax for 1910 was finally paid on January 23, 1911. It may have been the next owner, Robert Perry, who paid the taxes because he is listed as owner in 1911.
Robert Perry was a stonemason from New York City and had been living on White Oak Avenue (now Foothill Boulevard). There is a 1911 newspaper article reporting that he is going to build a "Swiss chalet" type of bungalow on Lot 8, Block H. Subsequent newspaper reports indicate that he worked as a contractor, building other bungalow-style houses in the area, but ran into financial trouble and left town and his creditors. His wife came back and had an estate sale of the contents of the house her husband built and in which they had lived for a short time.
According to the two Monrovia newspapers of the time, the property and house were in legal limbo for a time with Robert Avery and George Powell owning it for one year as co-owners, Robert Avery owning it in 1913, and Grant Wesley owning it from 1914-1916. These men did not live in the house during the time they owned it, but they may have rented it out.
Finally by 1916, the house is purchased by Michael J. Conway and his wife as their family home. They continue to own the house for 28 years, living in it for 13 years until they moved to Arcadia. The house is used as a rental until the 1970s when it reverts back to the owner actually living in the house.
The Sanborn Fire Insurance maps from 1913 to 1927 show no changes from the original configuration of the house as it is today.
The house is a one story, wood frame Craftsman bungalow with a front-facing gable. The roof-style is known as “jerkinhead”, a combination of a gable and hip roof. The main gable peak has slat vents. The roof has the typical stylistic devices of a Craftsman house: exposed beam ends and rafter tails.
The painted redwood siding extends halfway up from the river rock foundation. Original wood-shingle siding is original as are the roof elements, including the exposed rafter tails, beam ends, and overhanging eaves. There is a partial porch extending from the front door. The porch roof is supported by simple truss work and a pair of triple square wood posts anchored in river rock supports with caps of rectangular cement.
There is a wooden deck running the width of the house from the concrete partial porch. On the deck are three rectangular river rock pedestals, capped with square concrete tops. The pedestals don’t support anything, and, at first, I thought that originally there might have been a full porch supported by these pedestals, but the footprints of the house on the 1913 and 1927 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps are the same. They show only a partial porch and no decking.
Of special note is the quality of the two chimneys with square granite corners and rounded rock.
The back of the house retains the same conformation as seen on the Sanborn map, but the windows are not original. There is a sturdy deck, appropriate to the house, attached. The southeast end shows signs of alteration that were likely required because of changes to the interior. However, the alteration is very poorly done with no attempt made to match the siding still existing from the original construction.