William M. Michaels Home


The Redlands Area Historical Society, Inc.
Heritage Award 1989

William M. Michaels Home
225 Alvarado Street

The home at 225 Alvarado Street was built in 1902 in the Parkview Addition Tract, formerly a lemon grove, for William M. and Lizzie Michaels. Mr. Michaels owned a boot and shoe business on the northwest corner of State and Fifth Streets. From 1917 to 1925 the home was owned by another family member, William Michaels, a rancher, and his wife Julia.

The 1 1/2-story hipped-roof Victorian cottage has three dormers, bay windows at the front and north side, and notable Greek Revival elements. The front porch is supported by four Corinthian columns and the entrance door and sidelights are framed by four pilasters, which support a lentil with dentals and crown molding details, repeated under the wide projecting eaves together with a semicircular decoration on the frieze. Large windows provide the home with a great deal of sunlight.
Three contiguous windows in the dining room are detailed with small panes and have the original glass. The two large windows in the front of the home contain beautiful leaded sections, which were releaded in 1980.

During a visit from Long Island, New York, in 1926 Lucy Darling and her daughter and son-in-law, the Dickersons, bought the house. The Dickersons and their five children, Josephine, Ruth, Howard, Phoebe, and Edward owned the property for thirty-four years. In order to accommodate the large family many interior alterations were made. In 1942 Ruth returned from Northern California as a young widow with two children and moved in with her recently widowed mother and more changes were made. Unfortunately, the bevelled, leaded glass in the front door and sidelights were replaced by plain glass during these alterations.

Mrs. Dickerson sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. Philip Gay, an orange grower, in 1960. Mrs. Mary Ostoj purchased it in 1962 and lived there with three sons and another teenager. In 1965 she added the swimming pool. In 1971 a fire caused by faulty wiring in a swamp cooler damaged most of the upstairs and the front downstairs. When repairs were made the three dormers were enlarged.

In 1976 the Reverend and Mrs. Bruce Van Blair purchased the home. While they were away on vacation, members of the Congregational Church, where Bruce was pastor, surprised them by redecorating the house. In 1982 the Van Blairs moved to Washington state and the house was rented to the Russell Rummer family. Liz Konold, an admini¬strator in the Development Office at the University Redlands and her daughter, Julie, moved into the house on a lease/option arrangement in January 1984 and purchased the home in 1985.

Martin Tuerck, is a retired civilian employee at Norton Air Force Base and his wife Clair are the current owners of this charming home. Since purchasing the property, they have worked diligently to recapture the original flavor of the home and are to be complimented on the care and thoughtful restoration. The Redlands Board of Realtors recognized some of their hard work in 1988 when they were awarded 3rd prize in the “Put up a Good Front” competition. Their children, Linda, Christine, Jacqueline, and Steven take much pleasure in visiting their parent’s lovely home.
We look forward to the Tuercks continued stewardship of this historic property.

Research by Karen Brandstater.