Friday, June 16, 2006

Another Petch House

I found the house the Petch Family lived in before buying The Stately Petch Manor House. That is to say, the original Petch House. Uh, my house. It’s in the same neighborhood and only 1 block down and three blocks over from here. It is an 1887 Eastlake cottage and appears to be very well cared for.

1025 J Street

I wish I had gotten a better shot. There was no parking, and because of traffic I was only able to stop for a second and snap the picture. The porch, which you can’t really see, has a lot gingerbread and some meaty turned columns on it. There are more windows on the right side with the same trim as that front triple bay.

I was never able to find a lot of information about where the Petch Family lived prior to them owning The Petch House. From census data I knew they lived in Eureka before 1895 but I never knew where. Down at the library they have city directories (phone books before phones), but it is an incomplete set and there are gaps in the years. Also, some of them are only business directories and not residential.

I was down at the library a few days ago doing some research because I’m going to be talking about Victorian era lighting, plumbing, and electrical at the upcoming Splinter Group meeting. I’m going to be focusing on production and distribution. I know that Mr. Petch was an electrician and operated The Eureka Lighting Co, selling gas and electric lights, along with other things. I also know that he operated the Coal Gas Plant in Santa Clara after he was divorced.

Anyway, I was trying to find out where the electrical and coal gas plants were located in the city. When I found the coal gas plant in the business directory of 1893 it listed Thomas D. Petch as the superintendent. Surprise, surprise. It also listed is residence at 1025 J Street. The other Petch House.

According to the records the house was designed and built in 1887 by a local architect by the name of E. Mowry. Mr. Mowry still owned the house in 1893 when the Petch family lived there so they must have been renters. Of course, in just 2 short years they would be living the dream, just as I am now, in that gorgeous 1895 Queen Anne that we all know and love today as The Petch House.


Joyce said...

Gorgeous! Hope you can get acquainted with current owners because you could probably learn a lot from each other. Oh, by the way, you're gorgeous too -- or, at least, The Petch House is.

mindy said...

Neat place - it looks very well cared for, so the owners must be house lovers too. I say you go knock on their door!