The Patterson House at Ardenwood Farm (part 1 of 3)


In the 1850s, George Washington Patternson traveled from the midwest to California in search of gold. Settling down in what is now Fremont, California, he built his bachelor pad (a 2-bedroom house) in 1857, and later expanded the house with a Queen Victorian addition in 1889. This property (named “Ardenwood”) was later incorporated into the park system (as Ardenwood Farm), and has been open to the public for decades. His mansion (named the “Patterson House”) has been meticulously maintained to ensure nearly all items remain as intact as possible, from the heating system to the hat pins on the dresser. Luckily, I was able to take pictures during the tour. So, let’s go through the house, shall we?

(Although you’ll have to forgive me in advance — while the tour was absolutely fascinating, I didn’t catch every detail from the docent as I was taking pictures, so my descriptions will not be as detailed as they could have been.)

The guest room
The guest room is one of the first rooms in the house that Patterson family guests were immediately ushered into. It has all the fancier items that the family would want to display for guests (like a piano shipped via boat from NYC to California — and it had to go around the southern tip of South America to make the trip!). The family’s children were not allowed inside.

The master bedroom
The master bedroom contained the bed for George and Clara Patterson. The bed is short by modern standards, in part due to shorter statures but also to the thinking at the time, that it was not healthy to sleep completely lying down. Many slept sitting up against the headboard.

The closet & dressing room
These rooms contained many of Clara’s belongings, from her letter desk to her hat pins (to a picture of her and her two sons on her dresser). Clara was quite a woman — she demanded a pre-nup (!), and, when widowed in her 40s, traveled abroad extensively, bringing back chefs from China, Japan, Sweden (and a few other countries that escape me).

More rooms of the house to come!


15 thoughts on “The Patterson House at Ardenwood Farm (part 1 of 3)

  1. That is beautiful. Definitely deserve a post (or three) of it’s own. Superb shots Jackie! They belong in a magazine. The first shot can totally be the cover. I have to make a trip out there !

  2. How beautiful! I am completely thrilled with your images and the Patterson House. The interior is still original? I love the delicate dishes, clothes and hatboxes. So beautiful. So full of details.
    I look forward to more photos!

    A great week to you!

  3. I think I just about died. I really love the Victorian era and I can’t get enough, it must have been so fun roaming through the house. I can’t wait for the next two posts!

  4. Pingback: The Patterson House at Ardenwood Farm (part 2 of 3) | A Happy Day

  5. Pingback: Patterson House (part 3 of 3) | A Happy Day

  6. Clara is a smart woman with great taste! It’s amazing how well preserved this historic house is. I think I might want to visit this place when I’m in the bay area (although not sure if hubby would enjoy it – poor guy, gets dragged around to places that he could care less about :)

  7. Pingback: Ardenwood Farm (part 1 of 2) | A Happy Day

  8. Pingback: The Fall Festival at Ardenwood Farm | A Happy Day

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