Saturday, March 19, 2011

Home of Mrs. John Brown

Library of Congress photo

Tehema County August 17, 1993

With a schedule of trying to make Roseburg Oregon that day and no actual marker, this home was a drive-by with a photo shot out the car window. Today, this 864 square foot, 2 bedroom, one and a half bath, cozy, storybook old charmer is valued by Zillow at $86,000 with comps in the ‘70’s, a small price for a piece of history built by townfolk for the widow of the famed abolitionist. It last sold in late 2005.

From Jessie Faulkner, Humboldt County Historical Society:
"Mary decided to come west with her younger daughters in 1864 when her son Salmon Brown planned to take his family and join a train of 40 wagons," historian Evelyn McCormick wrote in 1992.
John Brown's name would ease the way for the group when they reached Redding. "When entering a toll road near Redding, the gate keeper is reported to have asked their names and discovered they were the John Browns," McCormick wrote. "At this disclosure, he refused their money and introduced them to others, all of whom were kind to them and looked after their needs."

The townspeople collected money to build a little cottage for them. The editor of Red Bluff's newspaper stated, 'If every man, woman, and child in California who has hummed 'John Brown's Body Lies Mouldering in the Grave' will throw in a dime, his family will have a home.' The dimes and dollars came forward. Even the governor of California helped raise funds. In January 1866, the house was finished and turned over to Mary Brown.

There is no plaque, but if it had one the inscription would read: NO. 117 HOME OF MRS. JOHN BROWN - In 1864 the widow of John Brown, the famous abolitionist of Harpers Ferry, came to Red Bluff with her children. So great was the admiration for John Brown in that area that a considerable sum of money was raised to provide his widow and children with a home. Mrs. Brown lived there until the summer of 1870, when she and her children moved to Humboldt County.
135 Main St
, Red Bluff
Google maps: 40.17261,-122.230625

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