7627 Harriet Avenue, Richfield, Minnesota

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McGowan House

2006 Front of 7627 Harriet Avenue
Assessor Photo taken in 1956
Address: 7627 Harriet Avenue S
Richfield, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1947
Primary Style: Cape Cod
Additions: 2007, Garage added
Major Alterations: Some/mostly intact
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Current Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Aluminum
Material of Roof: Asphalt Shingles
Material of Foundation: Concrete

Richfield Hennepin County

7627 Harriet Avenue, Richfield, Minnesota
(44.865063° N, 93.285826° WLatitude: 44°51′54.227″N
Longitude: 93°17′8.974″W



1946: Unknown

It is unknown at this time who lived in the house for the first few months of its existence.

1947-1983 Owner: Maurice and Helen McGowan

Both Helen and Maurey grew up in Minneapolis. During World War II they were living with Helen's parents in north Minneapolis. In 1946, with three kids and the war over, the couple set out to look for a home of their own. The then Village of Richfield, where they once ran their grocery business, offered both space, affordable housing and was close to the landscaping businesses Maurey worked at.

At one point however, the family was in danger of losing their home. In 1955 they were behind in payments to the deed holder. When the deed holder began proceedings to remove the family from the house, their daughter, Mary Ellyn, talked to their parish priest at Assumption Church, who then talked to the deed holder (who was also a parishioner) telling (and scolding) him that the McGowan family were good Catholics and that he should give Maurey more time to pay the mortgage. He did, and the McGowan Family was able to come up with the mortgage. [1]

Both Helen and Maurey shared a love of gardening and the backyard of the house had a large vegetable garden taking up to 1/3 of the yard, a large rose garden at the side of the house, an large iris garden with Virgin Mary statue and several small flower gardens. [1]

Helen passed away in 1973. In 1981 Maurey moved into a nursing home and passed away in 1983. His son Pat, who had been living there helping out his dad, purchased the home and continued living there.

1983-2002 Pat McGowan

After purchasing the house from his father, Pat continued to live there, commuting to his job as Associate Accounting Professor at the University of Saint Thomas. Pat however, did not share his parents love of gardening and soon sodded over the vegetable and flower gardens creating a span of green lawn uninterrupted even by bushes. It was during this time he replaced the cedar shake siding with aluminum and replaced the concrete steps and walkway.

In July of 2002 Pat suffered a massive heart attack while running on a treadmill in the basement and died instantly. He was found the next day by a close elderly neighbor who was good friend of the McGowan family. When he saw that the newspaper was still on the front step and the Pat had not left for work he went over to see if everything was ok.

Pat had never married nor had any children. The house then was purchased by his nephew Joe Hoover.


In the summer of 2007 a garage was added to the property. Many houses of that period were built without garages, connection city water or sewers. As starter houses it was assumed that the homeowner would add a garage later. Most houses of this model added garages right away. This property had to wait 60 years.

Memories and stories


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