We left home early Saturday trying to make it down to the fair when it first opened.
There was fog in the early morning hours and it still lingered as we made our way down Highway 80.
We arrived around 11:00 and
the show was already in full swing.
There were two huge buildings chocked full of vendors and their wares
with some booths set up outside.
There was a large variety of items for sale and
by the looks of the amount of bags being carried and
the sold signs on large pieces of furniture, everyone was doing well...
It was posted that the Rodgers House was going to be open for touring from 10:00 to 3:00.
At the time of our arrival it appeared to be closed up,
with the gates locked and all the shades drawn.
Our history with the house goes back quite a few years.
When we were living in Santa Cruz, we would visit at least once a month.
The house was situated on it's original site in Watsonville and each of the downstairs rooms were occupied with wonderful little shops.
I was always able to find some little trinket and that was fun, but
the big draw for us was the house itself.
At the time we lived in a house built in the 1960's, but we always had dreams of living in an old house.
Once, after we moved to Grass Valley and had our old house,
we went back but the house was no longer standing and a shopping center had taken its place.
We assumed the house had been demolished.
The Rodgers House as it sat in it's original place (far right hand corner) sometime after it was built in the 1870's.
Large house (front right side) was built by the Rodger's son and was eventually torn down.
What we didn't know, until just a few months ago,
was that the house had been moved, refurbished, and
now sits at the entrance to the Santa Cruz County fairgrounds.
The original water tower reconstructed on the present site.
It all looked as we remembered it only in much better shape but
for right now it seemed that we would not be able to go inside.
So how does a girl drown her sorrows?..
by shopping of course!
I found this adorable little scale that I am so happy with.
I had to laugh to myself as the tag on it stated "as is".
There is nothing wrong with it except for some chipping.
Isn't that how it is supposed to be?!!
I also found this little chippy and rusty, red caddy
that will be perfect for Christmas and beyond!
It was time to leave the fair and stop by the kids for dinner before heading back home.
As we were taking our treasures to the car,
we happened to see a lady coming out of the house and she invited us inside!
It seems it was open the whole time
even though it didn't appear to be.
She took us in the back door so that we entered into the kitchen first.
We both remember the huge wall of windows that were over the sink,
from the ceiling down with little panes of glass.
It was quite a disappointment to see they had been replaced with these smaller versions.
Kind of like remembering something through your young child eyes and
thinking it was so big, then seeing it as an adult and
it seemed so much smaller.
However, knowing that the house had been cut into four pieces and
moved about eight miles
and the price it would be to duplicate today those exact windows,
it was, disappointing, but understandable.
Mr. James Rodgers astride his horse
Malvina Rodgers' (his first wife) wedding gown
Mr. Rodgers and his first wife, Malvina, came from the San Francisco bay area.
They had eight children and when they outgrew their present home,
they bought 80 acres in the fertile valley of Watsonville and
built this large house to hold his growing family,
sometime in the 1870's.
After his wife died, he married his second wife, Esther Steinbeck Rodgers.
She was the sister of John Steinbeck.
This is the original stove Mr. Rodgers bought for his wife, Esther.
She is pictured with it in the above photograph.
Formal dining room
Built-in china cupboard and fireplace in formal dining room
Formal parlor fireplace mantle
You might think the subject of this painting is the homestead but,
it is the ewe in the foreground.
One of the Rodgers' sons raised it and
she was a prize winning specimen...
...which he received this trophy cup for.
When the Rodgers family heard that the house was being restored,
they graciously donated family heirlooms,
such as furniture, art and various items and family photographs
which are on display throughout the house.
John Steinbeck, as a guest, for Thanksgiving dinner
This is Mr. Rodgers beaver top hat.
He had it embellished with embroidery and pearls,
so that when he went to a formal function and they took his hat,
it could be seen that he was someone of importance and wealth.
The upstairs was off limits but when I commented on how much I liked this single bed in a downstairs bedroom...
...she said there was an even smaller one upstairs and would I like to see it??..are you kidding me??...
I apologize for my pictures. It was a little dark because of the drawn shades and I couldn't get just the right angles, but I hope you got a feel for the house.
There was no literature about the family, all that I know was what the docent told us and so don't know if I remember it all correctly.
I don't think the house shows to its best advantage
but I can visualize how it could look
with the right colors of paint or maybe a bit of wallpaper
and the presence of a family.
The house will be open again at Christmas,
decorated, and the docents will be in costumes befitting the era.
There also happens to be another large craft fair at the same time
so I'm hoping that we will be able to return.
It was a great Goat Hill Fair and more.
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