A mansion in McCloud
I just returned from a delicious week spent in McCloud, California. This tiny village sits just south of Mt. Shasta, which you can see from every street in town. McCloud is my favorite place to rest and recoup, partly because my brother and his wife live there, partly because I have no agenda or to-do list when I visit, and partly because their house has a huge, old-fashioned sunny/shady front porch.
This house was built in 1904! McCloud is an old lumber-mill town in Siskiyou County, 14 miles east of Highway 5. Between 1904 and 1908, the mill owners built all the houses in town for the lumbermen and their families, and the structures are still solid as a just-skinned redwood tree. Most are two-story, with big rambling kitchens, many-paned windows, big front porches, fenced gardens, steep roofs (for the snow), and wood shingles.
When my brother and his wife first looked at the house, it was divided into two separate upstairs and downstairs apartments (nowdays you’d call it a duplex). When they bought it in 2004 it was a real mess. They converted it into a (very large) single-family house, stripped the hardwood floor, added 3 elegant bathrooms (!), modernized the kitchen, scraped off the wallpaper and painted all the walls (including the beautiful old crown molding). Then they furnished the entire place with antiques scrounged from estate sales in nearby Dunsmuir and Shasta City.
If you love big, old houses, you would love this place: four bedrooms with wrought iron double-bedstead frames and handmade heirloom quilts; 4 bathrooms, 3 with old-fashioned claw-foot tubs; oriental rugs bought at estate sales on the downstairs living room floor and on the upstairs living room floor; and a wall-to-wall windowed sun-porch upstairs that runs the width of the house.
And, of course, my favorite feature---the sublimely relaxing front porch, on which I hang out and work on my novel in progress.
And nibble cheese and wine.
And wish I could spend year-round in McCloud.
I adore old houses. Do you?