Mary C. Curtis Home


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1976

Mary C. Curtis Home
914 West Highland Avenue

“Mrs. Mary Curtis is erecting a $500 barn on the northwest corner of Highland Avenue and Pacific. This structure will soon be followed by a spacious home on the same site.” This modest announcement of the most expensive home built in 1899 came from the Redlands Facts.

Contract for the $7,000 residence was let to D. M. Donald on August 5, 1899. The original plans called for a ten room, two-story home of redwood. The plans also elaborated upon the one large spacious closet and bath tub. Mrs. Mary Curtis, the sister of Mrs. Shirk’s mother from Philadelphia, insisted upon a cupola on the right side of the home. Her remarks were, “I want to have the garden on three sides of me all at once.” This idea was incorporated into plans and adds greatly to the architectural style of the home.

A fifteen by two-hundred and forty foot lawn composed of Japanese grass bordered the home on the street sides. Another large lawn graced the entrance of the home on Highland Avenue.

Owners came in quick succession – Dr. Jay, Richard Cook, Henson’s (famous for their camellias), Kings, Rogers, Larsen, and Murphy. Dr. and Mrs. Howard Gordon purchased the home in 1971.

This home has been recognized for excellence by the YWCA house tour in 1973 and the garden tour.