1975 HERITAGE AWARD RECIPIENT
The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1975
Elon J. Waite Home
556 Center Street
It was in 1891 that Elon J. Waite began construction of his home on the northwest corner of Center Street and Cypress Avenue. The stone walls and sidewalks were built by F.W. Archer in November of 1891. The “billiard room” was “fitted” by the end of November, while exterior improvements and details were brought to completion in the first months of 1891.
The Citrograph newspaper lavished its praise upon this residence in a March 1892 article with photograph:
The interior is in keeping with the handsome exterior, the rooms being large and airy. There is a large hall in the center of the building, from which a stairway leads to the second floor, and there are six main rooms on each floor, with baths and closets in addition.
The location of the residence was every Redlanders envy. Judson and Brown had planted four cedar deadora trees on each corner hoping that this spot would be the central plaza of the new “Redlands Colony”. In 1882 Waite planted the first orchard in Redlands proper, a two and a half acre plot on Center between Cypress and Fern. Frank E. Brown had requested the plating of this nursery because the colony would be in need of many orange trees.
In October of 1894 Mrs. A.F. Burke leased the Waite residence and turned it into a boarding house. Rooms on the first floor were divided so more people could stay in the house. Waite, meanwhile, stayed in Mrs. Burke’s residence on the southeast corner of Center and Cypress.
Waite died in 1897 and the house was sold to Dr. Anna Johnson. The home continued as a boarding house. The successive owners have been Elon J. Waite, Dr. Anna Johnson, King Kendle, Miss Lillian Rounds and the Keith Carlsons, the present owners who purchased the house in 1945.https://rahs.org/photo/waite-elon-j/