Eldridge M. Lyon Estate


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1996

Eldridge M. Lyon Estate
1225 Cajon Street

In 1916, Eldridge M. Lyon and his second wife, Mabel Salter Lyon hired the prominent Pasadena architect Elmer Grey to design a home for the property at Cajon and Summit. This new home would replace the large Victorian structure on the property, which was built for Lyon’s first wife Clara in 1897. Clara died in 1901 and Lyon remarried in 1907.

The structure is a fine example of Spanish Colonial Revival, a style that was just coming into prominence at that time. Very few homes were built in Redlands between 1913 and 1920 because of the “great freeze” and World War I. This is one of the rare examples of construction in Redlands during that period.

The identifying features of this structure with the Spanish Colonial Revival style is the predominantly flat roof with some areas covered by a low pitched tile roof. There is an elaborate door-surround to dramatically identify the entrance. The asymmetrical stuccoed structure is accented with an arcaded second story balcony on the west side. What is interesting is the addition of Italian Renaissance detailing of the entry staircase with its balustrade railing which extend around to other porch areas on the west side. Also, there are two pergolas supported with plain columns. The rear of the residence is H-shaped, allowing for a courtyard.

Eldridge M. Lyon (1853-1935) was described by his contemporaries as a philanthropist, capitalist, keen businessman, and a man of great vision. During his 43 years in Redlands, Lyon was active in the development of Redlands and was considered a leader in the citrus industry, taking over the family owned I. L. Lyon & Sons Packing House and groves in 1901 after the untimely death of his father and brother. Lyon was involved as a grower, packer, shipper and seller of oranges. He pioneered orange marketing strategies and was founder of the Citrus Protection League. His philanthropic endeavors included organizing the Red Cross, supporting Family Services and Redlands Community Hospital as well as serving as president of the Associated Charities and as trustee for the A. K. Smiley Public Library for 10 years. Lyon donated the funds for two of the library’s wings in 1926 and 1930. It was observed by some people that there was not one aspect of Redlands town life that was not touched by Lyon’s hand: civic, business, social, artistic, and intellectual.

After Lyon died in September 1935 Mabel remained in the home until the late 1930s. According to the city directories by 1941 the home was sold to the Clifford Kent family, who remained there until 1967. Various family members, Clifford, Ann, Henry C. and his wife Jane lived at the home during those twenty-six years. From 1968 to 1986 N. Milakovich and his family resided at the home. During this time the address was changed from a Summit address to the Cajon address.

The present owners Norma and Jack Marrin acquired the property in 1991. Under their careful supervision the home and grounds were again brought back to their original condition. The Marins added their own touches to the property, including a beautifully tiled pool, pool house, and koi ponds in the courtyard area The restored home and grounds have provided a wonderful place for the Marrins to entertain their family and friends.

The Redlands Area Historical Society commend the Marrins for their stewardship and commitment to the rehabilitation of this significant Redlands historic resource.