Save This Old House: A California Stick-Style Mansion

The House Navel Oranges Built


The History:

Several decades after the California gold rush, William Mclntyre hit a different kind of pay dirt when he planted some of the nation's earliest navel orange trees in his groves in Riverside. The variety took off, and the fruit's popularity helped the city become the wealthiest in the state, with Mclntyre counted among its most affluent residents. In 1892, he and his wife, Emma, used part of their fortune to construct this 3,793-square-foot showpiece, where they raised their three children. The family lived in the home until 1924, after which it was changed hands many times until it was purchased by the city in 2007. Now it must be moved to make way for a new dormitory for a nearby college.


Embellishments Abound

Why Save It?

Mclntyre outfitted the interior with lots of lavish features, including a mahogany staircase as well as mantels carved from maple and oak. The exterior, a mix of Queen Anne and Stick styles, has intricate spindle work and decorative clapboard and fish-scale siding.


Manse Must be Moved

What It Needs:

The house's systems are in working order, and the baths have even had some updates in recent years. Riverside still has a fair number of citrus groves, but the local economy also benefits from its close proximity to Los Angeles, 60 miles to the west. Small lots in the area start at only $25,000, or you could splurge on an orange grove of your own - there's one available just a few miles away.


Source: This Old House