John P. Fisk Cottage


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.

John P. Fisk Cottage

115 W. Fern Avenue


This one-story, rectangular, hipped-roof cottage of clapboard has a boxed cornice with straight decorative brackets and a wide flat frieze at the roof line. There is a hip roof dormer, also, with boxed cornice and decorative brackets. The four louvered openings of the dormer are divided with turned posts. The porch roof is supported by three square, paneled, wood posts. Opening onto the porch is a multi-paned wood and glass door with half side lights and a large window with large single pane. The rock walls flanking the front entry steps and the pergola extending off the left side of the porch were later alterations to the original plans.

According to the assessor’s records, building permits, and water connection records the property, which is lot 24 of the Excelsior Tract was owned by John P. Fisk, a prominent real estate and insurance agent in Redlands, who lived further west on Fern Avenue. The house was constructed in 1901 by D. M. Donald for a cost of $2400. There is no indication that Fisk, himself, ever lived on the property. According to the city directory, R. R. Ritchey, a clerk for Fisk, and his wife Ethel were probably the first occupants of the newly constructed home. By 1907 Fisk had sold the property.

The records indicate that Theobald Rosseter owned the property by 1910 for a short period of time. By 1911 John McIntosh, and his wife Harriet are listed at this address. McIntosh was a popular blacksmith in Redlands and also a builder of several residences on Fern Avenue. Building permits show that builder Davis Donald constructed a garage and made an addition to the property in 1911 and 1913.

Others who lived in the home included Mrs. Martha Ayers and family from 1915 – 1920, M. L. Hooper, a prominent real estate agent in the early 1920s, realtor Floyd R. and Margaret Sylvester in the late 1940s, Mrs. L. L. Zeigler in the 1960s and Joe M. Valdez from 1968-1985.

The present owner, Beatrice Walter purchased the home in 1986. Like three of the previous owners, Bea is, also, a local real estate agent. She has an appreciation for the sturdy construction of this historic structure and enjoys living in what she describes as a “comfortable” home.

The Redlands Area Historical Society commends Bea Walter for her continuing stewardship of this historic resource.