2017 HERITAGE AWARD RECIPIENT
The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Frank Myler Home
24 South Eureka Street
In 1890, Mr. Frank Myler, a gardener, purchased lot 6 in the tract called First Addition of Ladd’s Subdivision which was developed in 1897 by T. W. Ladd and built a small Victorian cottage.
This neighborhood was considered a popular place to live due to the proximity of transportation and close to the downtown and shops – and as we know today, the preference for living near downtown still remains in 2017. In 1905 Mr. Myler sold the home to a physician, Dr. J. R. Payton and his wife, Eliza Payton. Dr. John Payton was born in Iowa in 1857 and studied medicine at Willamette University in Oregon where he met his wife, Eliza. Eliza was the daughter of one of Oregon’s flour mill owners. J. R and Eliza Payton had one daughter, Grace. After purchasing the home, Dr. and Eliza Payton hired local building contractor, R.C. Cunningham, to convert the home from a one story Victorian into a two-story Classic Box design with strong Craftsman elements. The building permit #708 is dated March 20, 1906. The cost was $3,800. The two questions on the permit that we take for granted today were: will there be any plumbing and, will there be any electric wiring? Both were answered in the affirmative.
One might inquire as to what caused Dr. and Mrs. Payton to change the home’s style from Victorian to Classic Box of approximately 2700 sq. feet? Perhaps it was due to the Arts and Craft movement becoming very popular during this time and the Victorian Era ending. Dr. Payton constructed his home to have a separate doctor’s office with private entrance. That is the reason for the two main entry doors on the front porch. If you were a patient of Dr. Payton’s you would be welcomed into the reception room upon entering the right side door. The adjacent room on the same side of the home was the actual examination room. A set of doors separate the office reception room from the family’s private residence.
On the front exterior the architectural style is called Classic box with Craftsman influence due to the hipped roof, the gable roofed dormer in the center of the East side of the roof, and the double front columns are square style and sit on large, cut stone bases. Note the very large front bay window. On either side of the private family’s front door are leaded glass side lights in a straight line with a diamond pattern.
Although the exterior was completely rebuilt to resemble the more modern look of the times, the interior on the downstairs is a combination of Craftsman and Victorian elements. The formal entry has the Craftsman influence with a square staircase newel post and without ornamentation. Yet, the fretwork and Corinthian columns that separate the formal entry from the large parlor symbolize the Victorian era. The fireplace egg and dart design on the mantle is from the Victorian age. The formal dining room has retained its original woodwork from 1906 and pocket doors.
There have been about 12 owners since the home was first built. The owners who resided at the home the longest were Glen and Mary Milligan. They purchased it on June 18, 1913 from Dr. Payne’s widow, Eliza Payton, for six dollars. Typically, this would infer a family transfer so the next owner would not incur the usual property tax increase. Following Mary Milligan death in the early part of the 1960s (after almost 50 years of living in the home), her grandson, William Rohrer, bought out his brother’s side of the estate. Since there was a Mr. C. G. and Kate Rohrer who moved to Redlands in 1893 and did have children, perhaps Mary Milligan was a relative, thus explaining the $6.00 transfer. More research needs to be done. In 1967 when William Rohrer sold the home, there were 6 more owners until the current owners, Chalmer and Sue McClure, purchased the home on September 23, 2008.
The McClure’s have completed many renovations on this home, including all new electrical wiring, plumbing, and central heat and air. The wood floors were refinished and the exterior of the home stripped of its old paint and colors chosen to match the integrity of the Craftsman influence. A new wall was built in the backyard and a lovely garden planted which gives Chalmer and Sue much joy. Sue is a musician and Dr. Payton’s reception room is now her beloved music room and home to her harp and piano.
Besides improving and maintaining their beautiful home, Chalmer and Sue McClure keep a watchful eye on the Smiley Brothers’ statue seen from their large picture window. What a glorious view they have of our beautiful library, so lovingly given to Redlands by the city’s Patron Saints, twins Alfred and Albert Smiley. On Christmas holidays, you might see the Smiley brothers wearing a red plaid scarf and a Santa hat, or other fashion attire according to the season. This is Sue McClure’s work – bless her heart!
The Redlands Area Historical Society is pleased to present this 2017 Heritage Award to Chalmer and Sue McClure for their hard work, dedication, and the love they have shown with the continued restoration of 24 S. Eureka St.
Researcher: Marjorie Lewis