District Blog

This Place Matters: The Arnott House

Posted on March 5th, 2020 by susanblake

The featured landmark home this month is the Ed Arnott House at 155 Alice Avenue. Built in 1922, this house is a fine example of the Craftsman/California Bungalow style with many character defining features. It has a broad, closed veranda style porch supported by brick and stone pillars and unusual stacked wooden brackets at the top. An additional open porch can be seen on the west side of the house. Its low-pitched roof is supported by projecting eaves and exposed roof rafter tails. Large transom style windows frame the front door with many small divided- light, casement windows on either side of the chimney and the side porch. The house also has a small finished basement.

The current owners said that they found several old-double hung windows along with heavy weights in the basement when they started their renovation efforts. The original front door went missing over the years and when they bought the home in 2012, the existing hollow core front door was in bad shape and unsafe, with gaps that let light and wind through it. They replaced it with a new, solid fir door in the Craftsman/Bungalow style that matches interior molding woodwork.

The Peter Paul Arnott and Son’s Lumber Yard was one of the early 1900’s businesses in downtown Campbell. Along with lumber, Peter and his son Ed helped provide cement building blocks for foundations, chimneys and basements. They were kept busy as the newly created downtown business district on East Campbell Avenue grew rapidly. (See photo)

However, on October 27, 1917, a disastrous fire quickly swept through the downtown community and destroyed many buildings including the house of E.A. Arnott according to Jeanette Watson’s book, ‘CAMPBELL the Orchard City’. Although not much is known about the Arnotts, one can surmise that the Ed Arnott House on Alice Avenue was built using materials that were readily available from the family’s business.

Alice Avenue, now part of a historic district, was created in 1915 on a portion of the site of fruit drying yards owned by the George E. Hyde Company, a canning and fruit dehydrating plant occupying 17 acres in Campbell. This residential subdivision named “Hyde Residential Park” was built primarily for housing cannery workers, though George and Alice Hyde (the Street’s namesake) resided there too.

Photo courtesy of Campbell Museums.

Campbell Avenue looking east at the corner of First Street, 1905-1910. On the right side of the street is the newly constructed Odd Fellows Hall, Peter Arnott’s residence (with palm trees) and Al Smith’s Auto Shop where the fire started that wiped out the entire block of buildings.

Want to learn more about Campbell’s Historic buildings? There’s a free app for that. Search for: Historic Campbell, available for both Android and Apple.

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Wow! Our Wednesday Night Dungeons & Dragons nights have eclipsed our wildest expectations! We've never thought we'd have so many players at our weekly D&D nights. Come join us for pick-up n play one-shot campaigns for all experience levels every Wednesday night at 7PM. If you're a Dungeon Master, please message us. We could use a few more DM's.

Special thanks to Recycle Bookstore for helping out with supplying DnD books for our players! 🎲❤️

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Have ya’ll met Alyssa? Alyssa has been such a great team member at Bombshell. Besides being a great employee at Bombshell, Alyssa is also working hard on finishing her Masters in Art Therapy and she also has an internship at a local hospital! Alyssa loves to help others, has a huge heart, and is full of positive energy.

We love you so much Alyssa!

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If your skin needs a little moisture boost in this season of winter dryness, give this great moisturizing CBD body lotion by Yuzu soap a try! Moisturize, soothe, and heal your skin with this 100% hemp-derived CBD lotion. It's formulated with plant-based oils and butters that are rich in vitamins and antioxidants.

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This month’s featured Landmark home is the Lucy C. Bull House at 81 North First Street. Built between 1900 and 1907, it is another fine example of the Colonial Revival Cottage style that was very popular at the beginning of the 20th Century. Houses seen up and down First Street share many of the same style characteristics and were built in the same era.

The house is single story with a combination of narrow, horizontal, clapboard and shiplap wood siding. The hip roof and has a central gable window overhanging the porch. The unusually wide eaves are unbracketed. Square columns support the wide wooden front porch. The original front door features a twist to ring doorbell and new beveled glass panes above, with central mail slot and decorations below. Windows are double hung with a unique large corner window on the north edge. It has a full but unfinished basement.

Mrs. Lucy (Cooper) Bull, sister to Samuel F. Cooper and Dr. Charles N. Cooper arrived in Campbell from Illinois in the late 1890’s. The 1910 Census shows that she was head of the house, single, lived alone and her occupation was listed as Housekeeper.

Lucy’s brother, Samuel Cooper was known locally as Colonel Cooper, after serving in the Iowa Cavalry and rising to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was also a teacher and had a law practice. After arriving in Campbell at the invitation of his brother Charles, the Colonel was instrumental in the creation of the First Bank of Campbell, in 1895. The little red brick First Bank of Campbell building still stands on the north-east corner of Campbell and Central Avenues.

In 1919, our former Mayor Barbara Conant’s grandparents Benjamin Austin and Susan Bickler Austin bought the house and raised three daughters: Margaret (Barbara Conant’s mom), Marion and Myrrl. Mayor Conant shared her fond memories of large family gatherings, sliding down the cellar door to the basement and how her grandmother making donuts in the kitchen on a wood stove every Saturday. She recalls her grandmother made noodles on a long, wooden kitchen table each year on Good Friday. She would make huge balls of dough, roll them out flat on the table and after they sat for a while she would hand cut them into long, thin strands. Many weddings and birthdays were celebrated in the back yard.

Current owners bought the home in 1992, and sought Landmark status which was granted in 2003. They have done extensive restoration and renovation, enlarging the kitchen and adding a master bath and bedroom to the back of the house, while raising their three children. The large original dining room features a pass-through butler’s pantry (see photo) which is still accessible to the kitchen.

During the renovation, the owners discovered a couple of treasures. One was an old, long wooden kitchen table, left in the basement. They restored it and made it part of their open kitchen. Another item they found was stuck between two studs, and apparently...Read More

Applications to be in our annual Bunnies and Bonnets Parade will be open on Friday, February 7th and will remain open until Sunday, March 13th. We will only be taking applications for the parade online. This parade is very popular so we encourage you to get your applications in early.

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This Place Matters: The Gilman House

Posted on January 6th, 2020 by susanblake

The January featured Landmark is the Gilman House located at 151 N. First Street. and Grant Avenue.. Built in 1900, it has watched over the transformation of our downtown from a rural, agricultural area with orchards and dirt roads when horse and buggies passed by, to today’s Civic Center with City Hall just across the street.

The house was the original home of an early settler, Mrs. Maude Gilman. Mrs. Gilman is reported to have been an active member of the Campbell Methodist Episcopal Church. That church was located at the northwest corner of Campbell Avenue and North First Street, currently a Starbucks, and stood at that location until 1955.

This single story, Colonial Revival Cottage home is unique with its wide corner entry, wooden porch and many cantilevered windows. The windows allow for more light and opened up the views on all sides of the house. It also features a hip roof with dormer gable above the front entrance and a combination of narrow ship lap siding below with redwood shingles above. Leaded and Stained glass windows adorn many of the front three façades.

It is a fine example of adaptive re-use as the current owner has done extensive restoration while turning it into his business. When he purchased the house, most of the doors and door frames along with decorative molding had been removed. Fortunately, he found them stacked and preserved in the basement, and he was then able to figure out the puzzle and have them reinstalled.

In talking with the owner, he shared out an interesting story about the home. About ten years ago, shortly after he had purchased it and moved in, an elderly lady came to the front door and knocked. She asked if she could come in for a few minutes, just to look around.

Welcoming her in, she said that she had lived here as a child. She said that she was now 86, but remembered how she loved to sit by the big window in the dining room (on Grant) and watch the buggies go by on Sundays on their way to church. Back then the ‘side’ streets were dirt, but the town sprayed them with oil starting on the main road (Campbell Avenue) to help keep the dust down. She also said that the house was a hangout for all the local kids after school.

Before she left, she told him that the house had spirits. She made her way back out to the front door, but paused, laughing. She said she was just a silly old woman and paused again. Turning back briefly, she told him, “Oh, they’re still here.” Unfortunately, the owner did not catch her name.

Want to learn more about Campbell’s historic structures? There’s a free app for that. Search for: Historic Campbell, available for Android or Apple.


Susan Blake, Campbell Historic Preservation Board.

Check out the archives for This Place Matters for more stories about Campbell's historic homes.