Peter John was a prominent shopkeeper and saloon owner in Dayton’s Bluff. After marrying Louisa Hamm, the daughter of Theodore and Louise Hamm, the couple lived in this 1906 Colonial Revival house. It was the work of the architectural firm of Buechner & Orth, which designed a number of early twentieth century buildings in Saint Paul, including the Orpheum Theater.
The large five-bedroom home with a matching carriage house was well maintained during the seventy-five years it remained in the family. It is unique because the home still retains many of the original wall coverings, complete with hand-painted motifs. A variety of wood carvings, stained glass and inlaid floors decorate the interior. Architectural historian Larry Millett wrote “occupying a corner lot, the house is a stately exercise in Colonial Revival”
Information about the John family is difficult to find, but two items do show up in the St. Paul Globe. The first dealt with an 1885 dispute between Peter John and another man over three Payne Avenue properties. Sadly, the second was a notice from Peter and Louisa John announcing the death of Theodore, their “beloved infant son,” who died at the age of one year and three months.