Charles Hersee Cottage – 2024


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.

The Charles Hersee & Ernest Bennett Cottage

1509 W. Olive Avenue


The Charles H. Hersee and Ernest W. Bennett Cottage is located at 1509 West Olive Avenue. This one and a half story Craftsman Cottage was built in 1906 by Davis Donald for Charles H. Hersee. He was born September 23, 1881, in Great Britain, Canada. Charles married his wife Eva H. in Canada. He became a U.S. Citizen in 1906 and took charge of the El Centro Hardware and Implement Company in 1909. In 1917, he registered for the draft at the age of 36. Mr. Hersee later managed and was president of the Redlands Hardware and Stove Company. In August of 1920 he sold the business, located on Citrus, to E.M. Cope Commercial Company for $50,000 and it was named Imperial Hardware and Stove Co. The two-businesses combined were one of the largest hardware stores in Southern California. Altogether, Mr. Hersee invested in seven Hardware and Stove Companies. It is unclear if the Hersee’s lived in the house as there is no record of them at the address of the house. Charles passed away in Pasadena on December 8, 1951.

A cut stone wall with ten cement steps lead to the cottage that faces North. The medium gable roof is slightly bell-cast in shape. The siding is of wood shingles with a cement foundation. The rafters are exposed with decorative brackets. A common window is double hung. There are five dormers: one on the front, one on the east and west side and two in the back or south side. Each contains three windows. The wooden front porch wraps around to the east side of the house and is supported by 14 turned columns. Seven cement steps with low cement step piers lead to the front porch and the off-center front door. The front door is wood with a large, beveled glass pane. To the west of this door is a bay window with a large, fixed window with smaller windows on each side. East of the door is another large, fixed window with windows on each side. The east side of the building contains a curved bay window. The south side, or back of the house, has been altered so the doors and windows are not original.

Behind the house is a new garage and shop built by the previous owners, the Snells. They built it to match the architecture of the house. The wood shingles came from British Columbia and the Snells placed the shingles themselves. The Miller family purchased the home from Mr. Hersee in 1909. Sue C. Miller owned the property from 1916 to 1938 but did not live there. There were a series of renters until 1938 when Dr. Victor Roos and his wife Florence bought the house.

In 1954 Ernest and Vesta Bennett purchased the property and lived there until 1998. The family owned the property for over 40 years. Mr. Bennett was born in St. Patrick, Missouri. He was an electrical engineer and retired from the Edison Company in 1974. During WWII he served in the Army and retired as a Lt. Col. In the Army Reserve after a 32-year career. He belonged to the Redlands American Legion Post 106 and was very active in Sacred Heart Church. He was Past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus. Mr. Bennett suddenly died on August 3, 1980. Vesta passed away in September of 2004.

Jeffrey and Sandra Snell purchased the property from Barry Michael’s in 2018. Previous owners did renovations to the back, or south side of the home, so most of the windows and doors are not original; also, alterations on the inside weakened the structure. The Snell’s had the house retrofitted by placing 45 posts and cross bracings under the building to stabilize the sagging in several areas. They also replaced the knob and tub wiring and plumbing. In 2022 the Snells had to sell their home because of illness.

The present owners, Brian and Sarah Goodacre, purchased the home in July of 2022. Brian grew up in Redlands and Sarah in Cincinnati, Ohio. Both went to Loma Linda Dental School and that is where Sarah met Brian. Both are dentists, Brian working in Upland and Sarah for the Veterans Affairs in Redlands. Brian specializes in prosthodontics, which deals with implants and reconstructive procedures of the mouth. He travels in the U.S. and the world lecturing. The Goodacres wanted to live in Redlands, and they needed a house that was move-in ready and required little repairs as they had two little girls, Eleanor and Isabelle, and were expecting their son Charlie. Brian especially liked the garage and shop as he does woodworking. He has built closets in the bedrooms, a table with bench seating in the kitchen, and he redid the laundry room. At the present time they are replacing the outside back decking since the wood was getting splinters in the girls’ hands. They have also done some landscaping, planting fruit trees and other plantings. Brian and Sarah love their Redlands home and are looking forward to raising their children here.

The Redlands Area Historical Society wishes to thank the Goodacres for their care of 1509 West Olive Ave.

Presented on June 12, 2024. Research by Karen Flippin.