The Sycamores, Los Molinos, California


Are you an architectural enthusiast, history buff, or just a guy with a voice (or mustache) like actor Sam Elliott? If so, The Sycamores in Los Molinos, California is the home for you.

Locals just call it "The Mansion." It's a true California Arts and Crafts home built in 1906 for Mary Cone Runyan Wheeler. 

Mrs. Wheeler had just experienced the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, so she wanted to make her new home as fireproof and earthquake proof as possible. The basement has 11 inch thick concrete walls, a 500 gallon water tank in the attic, and fire mains at each corner of the house. 

She also wanted a home well suited to its 24 acres of pasture, orchards, and vineyards.

The stonework and terraces outside... well as the hand-hewn beams and Douglas fir floors inside give the home a lovely connection to its surroundings.

The current red oval braided rugs in the foyer and living room...

...gave me a connection to a house of another Wheeler. This one is Minwawa, home of designer Candace Wheeler (1827-1923):

Today Minwawa looks like this, and so can "The Mansion."

The house has 4,279 square feet for us to explore, with many original features intact:

I'm not going to say the bathroom wallpaper is original, but at least it gives you something interesting to look at.

So does the library:

This room was originally the maid's bedroom. The other four bedrooms are upstairs.

The upstairs skylight is a nice feature. This house has a lightness to it that Craftsmans often lack.

There's also an upstairs sewing room. Not sure if this is it, but it is a great spot to hide away from the kids and eat chocolate. (It would make a nice sewing room, too.)

There are four and half bathrooms total, but this is the best (albeit narrowest) one:

The property also has a pool with poolhouse and a barn that attracts lovely sunsets.

Besides being known as "The Mansion," The Sycamores is also known to locals as a Christmas destination:

For 40 years the Kremer family hosted a popular Christmas tea and a craft and gift boutique here.

It seems very much in the entertaining style of Mary Cone Runyan Wheeler. 

The Old House Dreams listing is here. Don't miss the Youtube video tour hosted by a man reminiscent of Sam Elliott. Another pretty and historic home by Candace Wheeler is here.

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