Pepper Trees still stand in the areas surrounding this California local jewel. They were planted by Maria Patterson as a way to make the property hers, in the 1890's when the house was built.
Gregg Cowdery has supervised every detail in bringing the Patterson House, the jewel of the Winchester Historical Society, closer to its days of glory. I first discovered the existence of Patterson House while visiting Estudillo Heritage Park in San Jacinto. I wanted to see 1st hand the third Italianate Structure of the area. My expectations were met, undoubtedly. I was able to check the structure, retrofitted in most of its basic features.
I had to wait for the end of the summer to set up an appointment, since temperatures rise quite high, so my first task was to set aside some time and coordinate a visit, as soon as possible, a necessary step, since the house is not yet open regular hours.
The best time to visit is Fall or Winter. I recommend the views in the fall, for great camera shots at sunset. Be prepared to start on a journey into the diary of Angie Remsburg, Clarence Patterson's wife. Clarence was the son of John and Maria Patterson, general store owner and blacksmith and home maker, respectively. The pic I share here is of the view from one of the front windows. Little has changed in Winchester since its heyday, also referred to as Pleasant Valley for its original name. So get ready to enjoy every memory, every picture as Gregg shows you through the times. Most importantly, do not discard the paranormal experiences!
I am not much of a believer, but I am always open to tune into the magic of old buildings. So here is my take on that. We came by late afternoon, since we were told that was the best time to avoid the heat, yet we needed sunlight to appreciate the inside. In the rooms, you can feel some vibes and the decor, giving the place the coziness needed, gets you into half nostalgia-half eeriness. There was another visitor who cried when entering Jessie Patterson's room. Jessie died while studying to be a teacher in Los Angeles, and the family kept her bedroom closed for years. Upon leaving, the dog started to howl, while looking towards one of the windows. And my own unexplained occurrence happened the day after. I had planned to devote the day to writing the article that brought me to the Patterson House in the first place. As I was getting ready to start my account in front of my computer, inspired by the tempting aroma of a double expresso, the bathroom door shut and locked. Yes, every thing that happens to us can be explained one way or another, but this one didn't. We never shut that door, adjacent as it is to a hallway giving the bathroom its needed privacy.
Look at my gallery for some of the objects that caught my eye. My favorite part of visiting this museum was to get a glimpse of how life could have been inside that house, with no added glamor or overstated elegance and wealth. Just plain countryside life!
The Patterson House Museum is located in Old Town Winchester, off of 79. You need to make an appointment to see it. For more information on this authentically local House Museum you may visit the Museum Web page here.
Growing up, there was a weeping willow outside my window. I spend many hours looking at it. Perhaps that is why looking out the windows of old houses helps me connect with their original residents. How we look at the world and what we see is a very important aspect of our everyday lives. I found the views and the windows in the Patterson House, for that reason, particularly striking.
For the article published on Patterson House Museum click here
I started working the Western End of Riverside County in 2013. A fascinating local history can only be paired with a burgeoning urban center showing the fastest growth in the entire US since 2012.