The Ames’ two-story house is designed in the Prairie style and constructed of blonde Roman bricks with red sandstone trim. Ward Ames Jr. was active in the Duluth grain trade and a partner with Julius Barnes in the Barnes-Ames Co. (Barnes would become the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the 1920s.) Together Ames and Barnes donated money to build Duluth’s downtown Y.M.C.A. building (and other Y.M.C.A. branches) and the Barnes-Ames building.