Description of Historic Place
The Dunke House is located at 2 William Street, and is situated on the northwest corner of the intersection of William Street and Arthur Street North, in the Village of Elmira, in the Township of Woolwich. The two storey, yellow, brick residence was constructed in 1891.
The property was designated, by the Township of Woolwich, in 1994, for its historic and architectural value and interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 46-84).
Jacob Dunke (1845-1910), who built the Dunke House in 1891, moved from Berlin (Kitchener) to Elmira in 1864 and, by 1875, was operating his own general store. He was one of the wealthiest men in the Village. Dunke was the first treasurer of the Village of Elmira, from 1886 until 1909. As a staunch conservative, he also served as President of the North Waterloo Conservative Association.
Armand C. Kimmel occupied the Dunke House from 1911-1916. The brother of August J. Kimmel, one of Waterloo County's leading industrialists, Armand J. Kimmel, was manager of the Elmira Felt Company Limited. He was also involved in other business ventures, with his brother.
Oscar H. Vogt (1868-1927) moved into the house in 1916. He was general manager of the Great West Felt Company, which in the 1920s was the leading industry in Elmira. Vogt was also vice-president of the Elmira Creamery, a director of Waterloo Trust and Savings Company, a director of Dumont Packing and president of the North Waterloo Conservative Association.
The Dunke House is a fine and well preserved example of the Victorian architecture that is characteristically found in the Elmira area. Jacob Dunke incorporated Queen Anne Revival details into the late Victorian style design. The irregular plan, with side and rear projections, and the steep hip roof with its tall chimneys are all representative of this style of architecture. The Dunke House also features broad porches, a variety of window shapes and four bays, with decorative brackets, that are typical characteristics of the Queen Anne Revival style. An enclosed second storey porch is in keeping with the overall style of the house.
Source: Township of Woolwich By-law 46-84.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Dunke House include its:
- yellow brick construction
- decorative brick work
- irregular plan with side and rear projecting bays
- steep rooflines
- double-flue chimney
- second storey enclosed porch;
- first storey wrap-around verandah with decorative railings and posts
- one over one windows and sills
- decorative brackets over the northwest corner window
- irregularly-shaped windows on the attic storey