2005 HERITAGE AWARD RECIPIENT
Redlands Area Historical Society
Alex Murdock House
657 Cajon Street
In 1915 Alex Murdock purchased the land on Cajon Street but did not build a home there until 1925, according to the city of Redlands water hook-up records. Davis Donald, the best-known builder in Redlands, constructed the home for Murdock because he worked for Donald. Originally the home was rented to four nurses.
This lovely home is built in the Craftsman style and fits nicely into the bungalow category. Many Craftsman houses were built in this low-pitched side-gabled roof style with a porch under a gable roof of its own. Wood slat ventilation boards just under the porch gable offset this particular version. The porch roof rests on short square columns standing upon sturdy square concrete piers. Two beautifully symmetrical windows bracket the front porch. Each of these windows features a large center pane with mullioned sidelights.
On the rear of the house, just visible through the trees, is a shed dormer protruding from the roofline. This home is a one-and-a-half story example of the Craftsman. This style was dominant in smaller houses built throughout the country from 1905 until the 1920s. Interestingly, Craftsman style houses were first built in southern California. The most common siding used was wood clapboard; as can be seen in this home.
Prior to the current owners, Joe and Barbara Soelter, whom purchased the home in 1998 it passed through six previous owners. Alex Murdock sold the house in 1943 to Beatrice Jackson. She passed the house onto C.A. Arthur and Veva Bloebaum in 1951 and they sold it to the Stroud’s in the 1970s. In 1981 the Saudargas’ purchased it and then passed it on to the Carrigan’s in 1995. Since the Carrigan’s only held the house for a short time it seems that the house was destined to become the Soelter’s refuge in Redlands.
The Redlands Area Historical Society congratulates the Soelter’s for restoring this historic house and maintaining the original characteristics in such a welcoming home. In December 2004 the Soelter’s opened their home for the Y-Alliance Christmas Home Tour and then in April 2005 they welcomed garden enthusiasts to the Redlands Horticulture and Improvement Society Garden Show & Tour. The immaculate care of this house make it among one of the best examples of the Craftsman bungalow on Cajon.
Researched and written by Judith Hunt