Monday, March 28, 2011

The Curtin Mansion

This beautiful old home in Sonora was built in 1897 for Senator John Barry Curtin. When I first moved here, the car wash I used to visit was nearby, and I have always been fascinated with the wonderful old place.

Sadly, it has fallen into disrepair over the years. I used to work with a man who lived there for many years with his elderly mother. She has since passed away, he married late in life, and sold the home. There was a front page article in our local paper in December of 2005 about the woman who purchased the home for $515,000. She wanted to fix it up. Alas, her plans did not work out. I don't know any details, but I am pretty sure money must have been the problem. It needs major restoration, most likely well out of the budget reach of most people these days.

I found an interesting historical photo here, from a book written by Michael Gahagan, a local resident of this area.
This is a photo I took of the house on a recent, overcast day:

My husband remembers taking tap dancing lessons inside this residence from the lady who lived there in the mid-1950's!

I would have dearly loved to have been able to buy and fix up this once-grand "mansion"!

It was up for sale again recently, and this was the price tag:

Can you even believe it? I wanted so badly to see the inside of it while it was on the market, but I never got to do so. After that article appeared, a member of the family wrote this letter to the editor of the paper.
These are a couple of the photos that accompanied the 2005 article:

So, we went from front page news in 2005 to front page news once more when the photo above was featured, nearly exactly six years later. Less than two months after that, cut to a new article - this time reporting that it had been sold - for $94,000! (Jealous much? I sure am!) But the best news of all is that the gentleman who bought it will be restoring it, bit by bit. And it sounds like he is somebody who not only knows exactly what he has gotten himself into, but is also up to the task! Yes - no matter how long nor how expensive the renovations may be.
And , since I couldn't buy the house myself, I was very, very happy to hear it.


Jennifer D said...

I am in LOVE with this house. Astounding story. Please keep us updated with new photos of the improvements ;0)

Tina Dawn said...

The past is present in Sonora. Loved this post. Love the house, and can't wait until it is truely a home again. Love T

marble rose said...

Oh wow - pure heaven - - and you wouldn't get a terraced house for that over here in the UK - wow - - would love to see it in future times - good luck to the new owner and house- and all that sail in her!!!


House Revivals said...

What an amazing old house! I am glad someone bought it who appreciates its history and wants to restore it.

yosemite faith said...

love this house also. what street is it on? i also think you should keep us updated.

Kathy D. said...

I have a picture of the Curtin Mansion from 1916. My grandmother it seems was a socialite and new the family. The senator had a ranch also and She went on a cattle roundup . I wish I was able to post the picture.

Heidi Ann said...

Hi Kathy D - If you wanted to e-mail me the picture, I would love to add it. You can e-mail me from my Profile (click on HeidiAnn on the sidebar), if you like. I would credit you for the photo, of course. Thank you for finding us and commenting!

Joh Curtin said...

This was my great Uncles house. We tried to get the County to buy it and restore it as a Historical landmark... I guess you see how far that went. Could be a nic B&B or somthing.