E.L. & Grace King House (Rockledge) | Built in 1912; Demolished 1987 | Homer, MN

Compiled by Alan Sonneman

Maher’s largest residential project, referent as Rockledge was built in 1912 as a summer residence near Winona, Minnesota, for businessman E. L. King and his wife, Grace Watkins King. Mrs. King’s father founded the J.R. Watkins Company, originally a manufacturer of patent medicines. Watkins had commissioned Maher to design the company’s commercial headquarters and the Winona Savings Bank which were to follow in the next several years. In all, the Watkins/Kings would be Maher’s largest client, also commissioning a winter estate in Daytona Beach Florida. 
Rockledge was a grand, 10,000 square foot Prairie School style home nestled against a rocky cliff along the Mississippi River just south of Winona. Maher designed lavish interior details and nearly every object that would be used at Rockledge. The flattened arch and the tiger lily were the prevailing interior architectural motifs. Maher borrowed from the Rockledge’s surroundings to create an earthy interior with brown, green, and orange colors throughout. He designed all of the interior objects for the estate including chairs, rugs, urns, clocks, lamps, and even the silver service. Lilies also appeared throughout the home on lamps, drapes, and on the silver coffee service.
In 1931, the Kings remodeled much of the house in the Art Deco Style. Many of the original Prairie Style pieces were removed and put into storage on the property.  These were later sold at Sotheby’s in the 1970s. After E.L. King Sr.’s death in 1949, Rockledge was passed on to E.L. King Jr. who allowed the property to fall into disrepair; it was eventually demolished in 1987 just before his death.