First Methodist Episcopal Church Parsonage


Redlands Area Historical Society

First Methodist Episcopal Church Parsonage

 126 West Olive Avenue


This lovely home is a two story Dutch Colonial Revival. The eaves on the second story flare over the first story gives it a slightly bellcast look. A large high gable dormer is centered on the second story and serves as the roof of the cement porch. There is a large diamond wood vent with wood slates at the top of the gable. Under this vent is a two pane square window divided by an upright bar. The multi panes are in the shape of diamonds. Above this window is wood applied to the building’s surface in the shape of a triangle.

In 1898 the Citrograph Newspaper announced the building of this house as follows: November 19, Architect Charles Jones has completed plans for a $2,500.00 residence for Mrs. Laney to be erected at the corner of Olive and Eureka.  December 31, contractors are working on a house for Mrs. Laney.  February 11, 1899 Building List, Mrs. Laney $2,500.00. By 1900, Robert Z. Drake purchased the property. He was a bridge contractor. In 1902, Danial Cotcher and his wife Harriet moved into the home. He was listed as retired then and later as an orange grower. The First Methodist Episcopal Church purchased the property for a parsonage in 1905, which started a relationship that would last some 53 years.

Other interesting features of the house are: windows with shed roofs on either side of the centered dormer, three brick chimneys with corbel tops and the front porch.  This porch is supported by two columns with cement piers.  Cement steps with low cement step railing lead to the centered front door. At the top of these steps are two shorter piers without columns. The door has a new glass window at the top with wood molding all around like a picture frame. Beneath the window are four inset wood panels. On either side of the door are diamond side lights with a shelf then decorative wood below. A window to the east of the door has diamond panes with a shelf and decorative wood below to match the side lights.

Ministers that lived in the home through the years were: William Love, wife May; Francis Larkin, wife Cora; E.J. Inwood, wife Jeannette; Herbert Murkett, wife Jessie; Lorenzo Van Arnam, wife Elizabeth; Charles Seitter, wife Florence; George Cliff, wife Marcia; James Stavely, wife Viola; Harry Slater, wife Fanny; Rector Johnson, wife Elsie; R.K. Swenerton, wife Lollie; James Lyons, wife Mayme; Roy Ruth, wife Angeline; and Frank Toothaker and wife Bess. The parsonage was sold in 1958.

Willis and Vera Doane purchased the home from the church. He was a Pharmacist at Cunningham Drugs. In 1989, John and Sandra Scharlemann bought the property. In 2000 they sold it to the present owners Bryan and Jasmine Smith. What drew the Smiths to his home was its potential for restoration. In the last few years the house has been painted outside and inside, central air and heating have been added, and presently the remodeling of the kitchen. All this hard work has been done by the Smith’s own hands. The Redlands Area Historical Society is please to recognize Bryan and Jasmine Smith for their hard work and love for this historic home.