7113 N. Ridge Boulevard

From HistoryWiki

7113 N. Ridge Boulevard the Davoust Garden.

Circa: 1907

Builder: Van S. Dresser

Original Owner: Joseph Peck

Second Owner: Merritt and Mae Davoust

Present Owner: Clark and Sue Davoust

This house was featured in the 1995 Annual Fall House Tour and the 2005 Annual Fall House Tour.

Clark Davoust and Sue Davoust are the second generation of Davousts to live at 7113 N. Ridge Boulevard since Clark's parents Merritt and Mae Davoust bought the home in 1945.

The house was built in 1907 by Van S. Dresser and initially lived in by Joseph Peck and his family. Dresser also built the houses at 7105 N. Ridge Boulevard and 7109 N. Ridge Boulevard during this time with identical interior layouts, but with different facades in a style labeled as "transitional." All three homes have been somewhat altered, most commonly by enclosing the open front verandas and adding enclosed porches or decks in the back. The houses still contain elements, such as oak moldings throughout the first floor, along with leaded and stained glass windows. Central heat, radiators, and a stucco exterior with little or no ornamentation were also incorporated, as these elements came into vogue in the early 1900s.

As you proceed to the back garden, the geologic basis for calling this area "the Ridge" becomes apparent. The steep drop is a sign that this once was the shoreline of a post-glacial beach along the shore of the ancient Lake Checaugou, and then thousands of years later, a trail used by the Pottawatomie Indians. Growing up here, Clark Davoust and his brothers often found arrowheads in the back yard.

Taking advantage of this natural slope, Merritt and Mae constructed a rock garden when they first moved into the house. Their sons remember hauling rocks in their little red wagon from a stone yard on Ridge Avenue where S&C Electric Company now stands. Planted originally as a spring flowering garden, it contains hundreds of flowering bulbs, as well as many varieties of hostas and wildflowers and other perennials. Over time, the Davousts re-landscaped both the south (shade, woodland) and north (sun loving perennials) and replanted the front yard as a perennial shade garden to compliment a huge, mature sugar maple tree.