John McIntosh House 2021


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.

The John McIntosh Home

332 South Eureka Street


Reaching back in time prior to the construction of the residence, Mrs. Curtis Wells of Redlands purchased lots 9 and 11, in Block A of the Holden Villa Tract on Eureka from J.D. Holden of Stockton for $750. Shortly after, the lots were purchased from Wells by John McIntosh of Boston, Massachusetts. McIntosh came to San Francisco first in 1881 and was married in that town to Miss Harriet Jones, a native Californian and moved to Redlands in 1886. After moving to Redlands McIntosh began construction with the Taylor Brothers on what we now know as 332 South Eureka.

 Builder, A. E. Taylor came to Redlands in 1882, owned his own brickyard and built the first brick home in Redlands in 1884. He was the foreman and later the superintendent for the building of Bear Valley Dam in 1884. Taylor built or provided bricks for many of the buildings seen in town today including the Academy of Music building, Masonic Temple, Trinity Episcopal Church, Phinney Block, the Orange Growers building, A.K. Smiley Public Library, Lincoln Memorial Shrine, First National Bank, Elks Clubhouse, buildings at the corners of Fifth and E. State, the original High School and many more. 

 John McIntosh had followed blacksmithing and carriage building in the East, and not long after their arrival in Redlands, he opened a shop here on the corner of Citrus and Fifth. At the time there were two such shops one of which, Mr. Schyff’s, McIntosh bought out. One year later he built a shop for himself on the corner of Citrus and Orange and in 1893 moved his location to Citrus just West of Cajon. Mr. McIntosh had a stellar reputation as a thorough workman himself, known for quality manufacturing and employing the most competent assistants. 

 McIntosh became a prolific builder in town and built many homes on East and West Fern. This home was his second in Redlands and was built as a rental first occupied by Rev. E. A. Carmichael and Rev. W. G. Conley who are listed as the occupants on the original water connection records. His last family residence is 504 W. Fern, the northwest corner of Fern and Buena Vista.

 In a 1976 Historic resources Inventory documentation by Melinda Swift calls this a “white 1-story house with exterior walls made of brick; the roof is truncated hip; tar and gravel shingles; there is a triangular shaped dormer on the front of the house; a bay window is located directly under the dormer; the windows are sash style; there is an open veranda with two square pillars; the stairs leading to the house are stoop; there is a wall of fieldstone supporting the open veranda.” In 1991 the Historical Inventory form is updated by Mr. Tom Atchley to show the home is back to its natural brick color with some changes and additions including the square pillars on the veranda being replaced by turned posts to mimic the one to the left of the porch entry steps along with the addition of decorative brackets to match the previously singular one also to the left of the entry steps. At that time a decoration was added to the inset of the fish scale sided Grecian style dormer above the venting. It has since been removed.  Interesting brick work is noted on the exterior with a modified kings row and seam at the bay window indicating a possible addition after its original construction.

 Brick Victorian homes are rare in Redlands, this being one of approximately four in town. Its notable original and added exterior attributes are cut stone walls and curbs, river rock front porch detail and planters, turned posts with decorative brackets, bay window, granite stone hitching post, a ribbon driveway and a Canary palm graces the front landscape. There are two chimneys, one of which backs to the now main bedroom with the firebox covered over many years ago. The interior features include pocket doors from the dining room to the living room where an absolutely gorgeous fireplace is a breathtaking anchor, fancy Victorian era hardware, 4 inch wide variegated wood plank floors, embossed front entry wall covering, and an interior accessed basement. A smart addition was made to the rear of the home to provide a roomy utility area. Although a small home its details are fine and, in some cases, quite ornate.

 The home has had several owners and occupants through the last 132 years providing the enjoyment of its quality, character and charm to many. Surprisingly with so many owners, smart retention and improvements have been made over time, a brilliant kitchen remodel being one of those. Other significant upgrades include a foundation rehabilitation by C. E. Blanc in 1952 and the addition of the in-ground pool by Pat Dorfsmith in 1985 for $8,200.

  Its longest running owners were the Heatwole family totaling some 40 years from 1911 to 1948. In 1984 Richard M. Strauss and Susan G. Strauss sold to Patrick R. Dorfsmith. This transfer is notable because Mr. Dorfsmith is credited with submitting an application for the home to be placed on the Redlands Historic and Scenic Property Registration which was accepted on October 1, 1985. At that time the home was one of approximately 25 City Registered Structures under ordinance 1600. Dorfsmith truly loved this home as evidenced by his hand drawn rendering of the residence at the time of his ownership.

 On December 19, 2013, Doug and Lisa Barbee made themselves the most recent proud owners of 332 S. Eureka. The Barbee’s both grew up in the Inland Empire area and had planned on staying, so the Eureka house is their forever home. Lisa has been with her company for 20 years as franchise office manager of 17 Domino’s Pizzas. Doug has been in restaurant management for 25 years. They love all the classic details, especially the fireplace, but most of all, the house really provides a sense of calm, love and positivity for them. The house exudes good vibes and karma altogether,  that is what they love the most! They feel very fortunate to have found it and enjoy it very much.

 On behalf of The Redlands Area Historical Society we would like to congratulate and thank the Barbee family with the designation and presentation of a 2021 Heritage Award on 332 S. Eureka Street

Presented 27 September 2021

Research –  Jill Huntsinger, Jennifer Schaefer, Tom Atchley, & Melinda Swift