You are here

Robert G. and Christina Bain Ferguson House

-A A +A
1906, George W. Maher. 801 Prospect St.
  • (Photograph by Balthazar Korab)

This large, two-and-a-half-story shingled dwelling on a cobblestone foundation is one of two unexpected examples showing the influence of the Prairie School in the northeasternmost portion of the Upper Peninsula. Maher, often identified with the Prairie School, is credited by architectural historian H. Allen Brooks as “one who developed a consistent and personal style.” In The Prairie School (1972), Brooks compared Maher favorably with Wright, “His influence on the Midwest was profound and prolonged and, in its time, was certainly as great as was Wright's.” Nine extant blueprint sheets clearly establish the Ferguson house as an almost exact duplicate of Maher's earlier Edgar G. Barratt (also spelled Barrett) House in Kenilworth, Illinois, 1896. The Barratt house was illustrated in The Inland Architect and News Record (February 1897) and it is highly possible that Ferguson (b. 1858), then the prosperous owner of Ferguson Hardware Company, may have seen that illustration and wanted the same for himself.

Noticeable changes from the Barratt house are in the use of brick instead of fieldstone for the chimneys and cobblestone instead of fieldstone for the foundation. Just as the Barratt house expressed the character of a fashionable residence in the Chicago suburb, the Ferguson house expressed the essence of the fashionable residence at the Soo.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Robert G. and Christina Bain Ferguson House", [Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 556-556.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.