James W. Barrows Home


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1991

James W. Barrows Home
243 Cajon Street

James and Caroline Barrows met while she was attending Homesworth Seminary in New Haven, Connecticut. They came to Redlands in March, 1887 because of her health. Mr. Barrows first worked for the post office but for much of his life worked in the grocery business. He was associated with such grocery firms as Newberry, Hayward and Barrows; Star Grocery of J. J. Suess; and later Blomquist and Blecha. The Barrows built their charming Victorian cottage at 243 Cajon Street in 1902. Caroline died in her home of tuberculosis in November, 1922. James continued to live at 243 Cajon until he died in July, 1939. His obituary stated: “He made many friends in the years he served the public and was generally respected for his courtesy and even disposition.” Other owners of the home have been the Lewis A. Mayou family from 1939 to 1967, and David Ohm Mercer from 1976 to 1989. The present owners are Don and Loretta Torres who use the building as office space for their business, the Farmer’s Insurance Group.

This two and one half story house has a high hipped bell-cast roof with a polygonal bay in the southwest corner. The bay also has a high hipped roof giving the roof line a double peaked look. An unusual medium hipped dormer faces west. The windows in this dormer are a combination of double-hung, fixed, and casement windows that open in. The north and south facing dormers both contain three double-hung windows. The east dormer has only one window. The open L-shaped wooden porch reflects elements of the Colonial Revival style as seen in the seven turned columns and a balustrade of turned posts.

The Torres wanted to purchase an older residence for their agency so their clients would feel comfortable and at ease doing business in a home like environment. They have certainly accomplished this! The Torres became deeply involved during the remodeling, forming a personal and emotional attachment to the project. The Torres’ son and daughter were involved in the landscaping, a son-in-law worked with the contractor, and Mrs. Torres brother did the cement work.

The whole family can be very proud of the finished product. We commend them for their wonderful adaptive reuse of this structure.