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Tour of Dows Street Historic District


On the north side of Dows Street on the block between State Street and Walker Street are two imposing houses built in the late 1910's in the Colonial Revival style by Martin Vanorny, rural mail carrier (1505 Dows Street), and his uncle Charles Vanorny, a retired farmer (1585 Dows Street). Such showplace residences were often built on main traffic corridors.

Vanourny Homes Old

Looking west on Dows St., Martin Vanorny home, far left; Charles Vanorny home with porch, 1585 Dows St.

Homes 2004

The same view in 2004; the Martin Vanorny home, far left. The Charles Vanorny home on right is partially hidden by a tree.

Martin Vanourny Home 2004

Martin Vanorny home in 2004

Charles Vanorny Home 2004

The Charles Vanorny home in 2004. The porches have been removed on both homes.

All told, there are eleven Dows Street buildings on the two block stretch between State Street and Main Street designated in the National Register of Historic places as the Ely Commercial (Dows Street) Historic District. They do not tell the whole story of our history; an even greater variety of businesses existed, not least of which was a substantial depot; but the buildings no longer stand. Also missing from this brief account are the names, family relationships, churches and other community organizations that contributed to the growth of the area.


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