Cecil E. Arthur Home


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1988

Cecil E. Arthur Home
314 South Buena Vista Avenue

The home at 314 South Buena Vista was built in 1902 by William Batty for Mrs. C. P. Chase. Mr. Batty, a native of Canada, was a long-time resident of Redlands who built many homes here. The two-story Dutch colonial style house is distinguished by its steeply pitched gambrel roof, with the entrance on the gambrel end. Along the roofline there are dormer windows on the north and south sides and two brick chimneys. The structure, constructed on a stone foundation, is completely covered with painted redwood shingles. Originally, there was a second-story recessed porch, recently enclosed with a five-section bay window, utilizing the space as a sewing room. There is a large circular decorative element between the window and the roof. The front porch is supported by two Tuscan-style columns on piers. A wooden match stick railing encloses the porch area.

Harold Bell Wright made this his home during his stay in Redlands from 1908 to 1910. A minister and well-known author, Wright came to Redlands to assume the position of minister at the First Christian Church. He is best known as a novelist, often basing his writing on impressions of the people and events he knew. Eyes of the World, written in 1914, is most remembered here, because of its various references to Redlands and its residents. From 1910 to 1919, W. C. Wilcox resided in the home.

Cecil E. Arthur and his wife, Jewell Dane, who had been married in 1914 and were living in a house across the street, moved into 314 South Buena Vista with their young son, Bob, around 1920. Cecil Arthur, who worked for forty years as a reporter for the Redlands Daily Facts was known to many people in town as “Jimmy Cub,” because of the daily weather column he wrote, which carried a syndicated bear cub logo. He was responsible for the official government weather statistics and the grove owners, very dependent on the weather, trusted his reports and called him regularly. He was also the sports reporter and the Arthurs’ daughter, Dorothy, who was raised in this home, remembers going to all the local and out-of-town sports events for the University. The Arthur family remained in the house for 38 years. In 1958 the “house was sold to a man named Kilgore, a cabinet maker. Maud McMann moved into the house from 1963-1967.

Tim and Dodie Farmer have lived in the house for the past twenty-one years and have raised their family there. They are sensitive to this historic property and when they added a garage in 1984 they were careful to construct one that was compatible with the house.