2021 HERITAGE AWARD RECIPIENT
The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
The Dr. Walter B. Power Home
303 East Mariposa Drive
North of Redlands Country Club sits a large, Spanish-style residence formerly bordered by Westwood, but since subdivided. The home was built by Davis Donald in 1923 for Dr. Walter B. Power & his second wife, Edith.
Although there are some conflicting reports, the cost to build the home was initially estimated to be $13,000 and $500 for the garage, a separate article states that the home cost $20,000 to build. When built, there were several unique features consisting of a roof garden as well as an iron stairway leading to the garden and glass sun porch. An early article mentioning this home, boasts that the house is fireproof as the casements are metal and the walls and floors concrete. The interior is finished in plaster and there is scarcely any wood in the house.
The history of a home is as much a history of the families that lived in it as well as the architectural history. 303 Mariposa is a stunning house and has only had 3 owners: Dr. and Mrs. Power, Dr. and Mrs. Bailey, and Mr. and Mrs. Bailey. If the surnames of the last 2 owners seem similar, they are. The current owners, Brooks and Krystal Bailey came into possession of the home 2 years ago after Dr. and Mrs. Bailey (Brooks’ parents) passed away. Brooks grew up in this home and has seen its impressive transformation firsthand!
This Spanish style home was built on a then bare, hilltop that looked across the small swell that separates it from the Redlands Country Club. In an article recounting Mrs. Power’s life, Frank Moore wrote that you could call it a Hacienda Style since it has a sprawling plan that seems to say that any number of people are welcome at any time. It has a broad red tile roof and a large living room with a cathedral ceiling, not unlike many Mission sanctuaries.
There is a very large fireplace at one end of the great room. Mr. Moore recounts that Edith would make her friends nervous when starting fires as her preferred method was to douse the logs in a liberal amount of kerosene!
Walter Bonamy Power was born in Montclair, New Jersey, in 1874. He graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1895 as the youngest man in his class. At the time you didn’t need to have a bachelor’s degree to go to medical school and in fact, Dr. Power had a PhD, but no bachelor’s degree. He had to wait until his 21st birthday to get his license to practice medicine in New York. His medical license number is 12. Dr. Power left Bellevue Hospital after contracting tuberculosis and came to Redlands to recover in 1902. He opened his medical practice in his home on Cajon Street in 1903, driving a horse and buggy to make house calls.
Dr. Power was one of the mounted escorts who accompanied Theodore Roosevelt’s carriage during the President’s tour of Redlands in 1903. In the photo of Mr. Smiley greeting Roosevelt at Canyon Crest Park, Dr. Power is shown behind the president.
In addition to being the “only surgeon east of Los Angeles qualified to open the abdomen,” he was a well-known hunter who liked to hunt throughout the area when these sage and scrub-covered hills still harbored abundant pheasant, quail, and rabbit. The current owner, Krystal Bailey says that she frequently sees quail in the area.
It is said that during the Great Depression, Dr. Power bought RCC for $1.00 and sold it back to them for the same price later. When WWII caused the Club to lose men and money to operate, a dedicated group of men led by the Doctor spent many hours irrigating, trimming trees, and mowing greens and fairways to keep the Club in playable condition.
Dr. Power passed away in the home after suffering a stroke in 1975. He was 100 years old. Edith remained in the residence until she passed away a few years later in 1981.
In 1981, the Bailey family acquired the 3.9-acre property. The Baileys connected several buildings with arcades, and subdivided property to the East. They added on to the home, relocating the kitchen to a more central part of the new construction and redesigned the original kitchen as a master suite. The primary entryway still exists, although it is now enclosed with matching archways and architectural sophistication similar to its original design. The chapel’s tall ceilings and beams are exposed, and the home’s grandeur is exemplified with very tall ceilings throughout. The floors and mantels have been redone with local travertine and blend nicely with the Spanish style of the home. The travertine continues to the outside of the house in details and columns lining the catwalk and porches. With the additions, the Bailey’s built a pool that is surrounded by the home on three sides. Today, from the street you can see the beautiful catwalk and patios that look out toward the country club. The home has two upstairs areas that are accessed by separate stairways.
Dr. and Mrs. Bailey hailed from the East coast and both shared a passion for medicine and helping others. Dr. Bailey was a prominent heart surgeon and Mrs. Bailey was a nurse in the Loma Linda Health Care system for years.
Mrs. Bailey had a passion for entertaining, cooking, and sewing. Her life experiences became part of her passion for quilting which she shared through teaching quilting classes and sewing with her girlfriends. Mrs. Bailey maintained many gardens throughout the property and often had very fragrant bouquets around the house from her own rose garden. Mrs. Bailey also served as manager for professional tennis player, Bobby Riggs.
Dr. Bailey’s name may be familiar to some of you as he performed the surgery transplanting a baboon heart into a human infant known as “Baby Fae.” The procedure became one of 1984’s biggest news stories, drawing daily attention of national news networks. Dr. Bailey went on to transplant hearts in 376 infants and became an authority on congenital heart surgery and a consultant to physicians around the world.
His work also propelled Loma Linda University Health to become the world’s leading pediatric heart transplant center and led to innovations that enable surgeons to repair certain complex congenital heart defects instead of patients having to undergo a transplant.
Though widely recognized for transplantations, they were only a small part of Dr. Bailey’s practice, which consisted of all types of pediatric and infant open-heart surgeries. Many of his infant heart-transplant patients came back to visit him as teenagers and adults. At least one went on to medical school.
In 2017 after a 36-year-old former patient visited him Dr Bailey said: “When we operate on these babies, the hope is that they will live longer than us. It’s nice to know that’s playing out.”
While making rounds with young patients, Bailey would often wear neckties featuring Snoopy or Looney Tunes characters. “It sedates the kids a bit,” he once quipped in an interview. Dr. Bailey was also known to change a baby’s diaper if needed.
Mrs Bailey passed away in April of 2019 and Dr. Bailey passed away a month later.
The current owners, Brooks and Krystal Bailey are breathing life and youth into this impressive home and property. Mrs. Nancy Bailey’s rose garden is still intact and when in bloom the flowers emit an impressive scent. Brooks and Krystal have reintroduced an orchard on the property and have nearly 50 Olive trees. The trees are managed by Lot 22 Olive Oil Company. They also plan on planting and maintaining grape vines on the south side of the property.
Brooks and Krystal both attended high school in Redlands and Krystal attended our very own University of Redlands. Brooks is a successful businessman and Realtor in Southern California. Krystal is active in the community and at the country club and manages the Bailey’s bustling family life with grace. Krystal is a lifelong Redlandser and loves our charming town.
As with many people who visit the home, the Bailey’s favorite room in the house is the chapel room with its wood beams and support rods that serve structural purposes, but also contribute to the Mission style aesthetic in the room. They hope to restore period specific lighting as well as restore the beams to natural finishes. Pictures cannot capture the grandeur of this room.
With two young girls bouncing around the home, it certainly feels like the welcoming abode that Walter and Edith designed and built nearly 100 years ago. It is our proud pleasure to award this home and its lovely owners, Brooks and Krystal Bailey a 2021 Heritage Home Award!
Presented 27 September 2021
Research by – Erin Benson & Jill Huntsinger