727 Chestnut Street

 

Architecture:

Style: Folk House

Description: This turn of the century house is a two-story wood frame building with cement shingle siding, wood shingles in the gables, a cut stone foundation in the front, and a contoured concrete block foundation in the back. A rear addition made years ago doubled the size of the house. The roof is primarily front-gabled, and the original structure has a lower cross gable to the east. The rear addition extends slightly west of the main structure. This transition is accompanied by a cutaway bay, and a small wall dormer where the roofline sweeps lower. A full width front porch that once existed has been replaced by a small entry. A small side porch with original wood columns lies on the west, and two small entries on the east. There is a ribbon of small windows over three adjoining front windows.

 

 

Significant Period:

Construction Date: circa 1880s

Architect/Builder: Unknown

Context: The first documented resident was Daniel Miller, a millwright, listed in the 1888 and 1890 City Directories. However, a history of this house is primarily a history of the Abernethy family, who lived there from 1890 until the 1940s. Thomas Abernethy, born in England, was a marine engineer in both Canada and the United States. He married in Canada but became an early settler of Port Huron with six sons and four daughters. Thomas drowned when his steamer, L.R. Doty, was lost in 1899. His widow Annie continued living there until through 1915 with several children, Florence, Fred, James, and John. James Abernethy and his wife Charlotte lived there next. James was a partner in Abernethy and Luz Plumbing and Heating, first located at 625 Water Street, then 706 Lapeer Street, then at 725 Chestnut located to the east of their Chestnut Street home. James died by 1920. G. Nelson Abernethy and Charlotte continued living at the home until at least 1940. He was also employed at 725 Chestnut in the plumbing and heating business. A large addition was built on the rear of the home by 1938, at which time six apartment numbers were listed for that address.