The Harvey W. Knopke House (1920)
Wancel Drahosh acquired a piece of land in the middle of the 19th century bounded by North Michigan Street on the east, Saint Patrick Street on the south, High Street on the north and Chatham Street on the west. In 1914 North Michigan Street was renamed Michigan Boulevard. Wancel began selling off the property in the Civil War years. The first residents recorded in 1881 at this address were Anton and Marie Haman. They arrived in Racine from Bohemia in 1865. Anton, a trunk maker, and son Wenzel, a Racine mail carrier whose career lasted 25 years, would live here until having a house built directly behind on Chatham Street in 1893. Henry Poelmann would acquire the property using it later as a rental property.
Harvey Knopke rented the original house, before purchasing it in May 1917 for $3000. He had this house built in 1920 on the same location. Having grown up at 1657 Chatham Street, Knopke and his wife, Margaret, lived with his mother during construction. Harvey was an accountant with the Chicago Rubber Clothing Company, later the assistant treasurer for The Racine Rubber Company and Eagle Luggage Co, owned by his brother William. It was at this time that The Racine Rubber Company was building a subdivision on Racine’s south side referred to as Rubberville.
In 1939, after Margaret’s death, Harvey married Ida Schultz, the family housekeeper. Harvey died in 1965 and Ida remained in their home until 1981. The Knopke family would own the property for 65 years.
Magazines and pattern books had become very popular and this five-room, two-bedroom stucco Craftsman bungalow is similar to one offered by Brannum Lumber in their design book from 1925 called Design 14099-A. The house is set back on a double-wide lot; its long sloping gabled roofline in the front is broken by the second floor bank of windows. The sloping roof extends even lower in the back. The tapered cement columns support the open porch, which spans the front of the house and extends eight feet deep, allowing for great views of the lake and giving the house an additional living space during milder months. The interior reflects the Craftsman design that includes a stained glass window and paneled walls in the dining room. Jack and Pam Kazarian acquired the property in 2002.  Pam had admired the house for years and is thrilled to call it home.  We are grateful to them for sharing their home with us.