Thomas Y. England Home


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1991

Thomas Y. England Home
827 Alvarado Street

The one and one half story Queen Anne cottage at 823 Alvarado Street has always been a part of an 8.9 acre estate that includes an orange grove, out buildings, and a home at 301 West Palm Avenue. The cottage has two front facing gables with the gable in the northwest corner extending out and over a curved bay window. Decorative dentil molding runs across the top of the bay and the open L-shaped porch. The bay is composed of five double-hung windows with leaded glass transoms. Another bay faces north and is polygonal in shape. An unusual south facing dormer has a wood shingled pediment with a semi-circular vent and a small shelf below. Beneath the pediment are wooden brackets. The dormer itself contains a window of twenty four horizontally rectangular glass panes. The wooden porch is supported by six decorative posts. A seventh post is attached to the building near the front door.

With the encouragement of their friend Issac Ford, the Thomas Y. England family and their son, James Will England, came to Redlands for a winter vacation. T.Y. England suffered from asthma and found that the climate was very beneficial. The family settled permanently here in November of 1887. The big house on Palm was built by J.W. in 1891. T.Y. and his wife Emma lived with their son and his family until J.W. built the house on Alvarado for his parents in 1893 at a cost of $1,900. T.Y. and Emma lived there until about 1914.

T. Y. England was born in Wilmington, Delaware and became a leather baron in Philadelphia. During the Civil War he furnished leather to the North for saddles and bridles to be used by the cavalry. At the end of the war he was offered a commission in the regular army but refused. Everyone in Redlands referred to him as “Major England” anyway. In 1896 T.Y. purchased Prospect Hill, site of the first hotel in Redlands. T.Y. planted trees and bushes in the park and built new driveways with cut stone retaining walls. Prospect Park eventually became a gift to Redlands from the England family.

In 1915 Guy and Clara Hunter became the owners of the estate containing the cottage on Alvarado Street. The Hunters lived in the cottage for about one year. It is a possibility that they lived there while the house on Palm was being extensively remodeled. Guy’s mother, Elizabeth, lived in the cottage until about 1923. The next owners of the estate were Y. James and Annie Attwood. They came from Russell, Manitoba, Canada where they owned a large wheat farm and cattle business. In California they owned about 180 acres of citrus. James was a charter director for Foothill Groves Association. With the passing of the Attwoods, the estate was inherited by their daughter Mary Attwood Heeney and her husband Thomas J. Heeney, a sea captain. The cottage was rented for many years and fell into disrepair.

In the late 1980s Mr. Heeney’s grandson, Christopher Brumett and his wife Jacquelyn Michelle started renovations. After years of very hard work the little cottage has been revitalized.

We thank the Brumetts and commend them for their effort.