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Burning History

HISTORY OF THE HOUSE

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HISTORY OF THE HOUSE
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HISTORY OF THE HOUSE

My house was a 1916 Craftsman style house located on the outskirts of Fairfield, CA in Suisun Valley on property owned by Anheuser-Busch near the Budweiser brewery. It was originally owned and built by Paul Perry, youngest son of Andrew Jackson Perry, one of the pioneer ranchers of Suisun Valley. Andrew sailed to California in 1853 in route to the gold fields with his cousin, Commodore Matthew Gailbraith Perry, who was on his maiden voyage to Japan to open the Orient to trade. The house was southwest of the main house on the 170 acre ranch owned by the Perry family. The 1000 square foot, 2 bedroom, 1 bath house was constructed with solid redwood and beautiful interior workmanship typical of the period. I fully redecorated and restored the house during the 38 years I lived there, doing most of the work myself.

The house had a covered front porch enclosed on the southwest end by pull-up and sliding windows for cooling and ventilation. The solid wood front door was 42" wide with a diamond shaped, beveled glass insert. The living and dining rooms had cherry wood wainscoting with plate rails around the perimeter of the rooms, and matching trim around the windows and doors. Thick cherry wood beams accented the dining room ceiling. There was a built-in hutch with leaded glass doors, beveled mirror, and storage drawers and cabinets in the dining room. The original push button light switches were still operable.

My favorite part of the house, however, was the unique fireplace made with misfired clinker brick from the old Port Costa kiln. I spent many cozy nights in front of that fireplace. It is ironic that the brick chimney and fireplace were the only parts of the house still standing after the house was burned to the ground in April 2008.

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