Get a glimpse of life when Chula Vista was known as the "lemon capital of the world" at one of the remaining Victorian orchard houses in Chula Vista. This vintage home, which dates back to 1888, will be among those featured on the 2008 Historic Home Tour. This popular event will be held during National Preservation Month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 10, and will include a turn-of-the-century-style tea.
Originally surrounded by citrus trees, the 1888 Queen Anne Victorian house was built for noted attorney and judge Alfred Haines. Around 1919, the home was purchased by Hancil Cordrey who worked as a carpenter and later as a chiropractor. As was typical of the early 1900s, Cordrey used two large rooms on the first floor as his waiting room and office.
“This charming two and one half story home has most of its original exterior features including a pyramidal square tower, ornate brick chimney and fishscale shingles,” said Historic Home Tour Chair Glenda de Vaney. “While the second floor was converted into apartments for a number of years, fortunately it has returned to its elegance as a single-family home. Much of the house has the original wooden floors, doors, windows and woodwork; lovely ’window alcoves’ on both the first and second floors as well as in the attic; and many pieces of period furniture that enhance the ambiance.”
Also highlighted on the tour is another late-1880’s Victorian with many original stained and leaded glass windows. The ornate exterior is stunning and the interior architectural details include angled ceilings, slatwood walls and a diamond shaped closet in the master bedroom. Two houses in the Craftsman style round out the tour: a 5,700 sq. ft. two story 1910 home, known as "Bay Breeze," that was threatened with demolition, moved to a new location and is being renovated; and a 1910 home with magnificent built-in cabinets and plate-rail wood paneling in the living room, dining room and piano room and unique brickwork in the living room fireplace and in the two columns supporting the front porch. Vintage autos will be displayed at each house.
“In addition, the very successful ‘tea in the garden,’ which has become a perennial part of the home tour, will be repeated on the spacious and lush grounds of one of Chula Vista’s favorite historic homes,” said de Vaney. “Tea and sweets---served in a romantic garden setting---are included in the ticket price. Members of the San Diego Costume Guild will be in period costumes, beautiful tea vignettes displayed, and raffles held for tearoom certificates and other gifts. Unique vintage and tea-related items will be available for purchase, and the Chula Vista Garden Club will offer items for the garden along with lavender shortbread cookies and candied flowers.”
Scheduled on the day before Mother’s Day, this self-guided tour will begin at the Chula Vista Heritage Museum, 360 Third Ave., where guests can buy tour tickets, and pick up a program and map beginning at 9:30 a.m. The Home Tour and Tea cost is $23 or $20 for Heritage Museum Society/Friends of the Chula Vista Library members. Group rates are available. Participants may drive themselves to the homes or take a free trolley that will run from the museum throughout the day. For more information, contact de Vaney at (619) 420-5612.
The tour also includes the debut of a new exhibit at the Heritage Museum highlighting historic homes in Chula Vista. In conjunction with the home tour and museum exhibit, a new 2009 Historic Home calendar will be offered for sale.
Docents are needed to help with ticket sales, and at the historic homes or at the tea. Please contact de Vaney at (619) 420-5612 to volunteer. Sponsored by the Chula Vista Historic Homeowners, the City of Chula Vista and the Heritage Museum Society, the 2008 tour will benefit the Chula Vista Heritage Museum and preservation projects in Chula Vista.
NOTE: Digital photos of some historic homes on the tour are available. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org