|History of Our Home - 2961 Fairmount Blvd.
Original address was - 209 North Almond Street.
The land ownership starts with the Riverside Land and Irrigating Company in 1895. Fairmount Heights Tract was filed with the
City of Riverside in 1895 and is found in the City Records in Map Book #1, page 47. The next subdivision was filed in July
1903 and named the Crescent Avenue Subdivision. The Tract map is located in the City records in Map Book #4 on page
#99. Then in February 1907 the last subdivision was filed and can be found in Map Book #5 on page #122. The Tract name
was Lewis Villa Tract. I believe this tract was owned by David William Lewis and his wife, Edith Binks Lewis. The original
Deed, #242-81shows William Reinhuber bought 2 parcels, #7 and #14 for a total of 10.00.
Our Parcel number in that tract was number 14. Mr. David William Lewis built his home on parcel #9 and 10 in the previous
year, 1906. His son Benjamin Lewis became a future Mayor for the City of Riverside. David William Lewis and his son
Benjamin are referenced in 2 historical works about Riverside Pioneers. The first is, History of Riverside County, California,
by Elmer Wallace Holmes. Printed by the Historic Record Company, Los Angeles, California, in 1912, on page 478 and 479.
The second book is, History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, Printed by The Western Historical Association,
edited by John Brown and James Boyd in 1922, on page 735 and 737 respectively, in volume ll.
Our House was built in 1907. The house was put on the city sewer line in 1908. Permit was issued to the owner, Robert W.
Lloyd on Oct. 29th, 1908, for the address of 209 North Almond. Permit number 1503. Robert W. Lloyd was a bookkeeper.
This information was obtained from the City Directory dated 1909, and 1910. Further research is being done on this
information. More information has been found in the County of Riverside records. This was researched by Archivist Records
Analyst Melissa Hernandez. She is, simply put, wonderful.
William Reinhuber owned the property in 1907. The land value was 110.00 with no improvements. In 1908 Robert W. Ward is
shown to be the owner. Value is still at 110.00 for the land. He made the 1st improvement as the value for property showing
value as 675.00 for improvements and 125.00 for the land. There seems to be a name change in 1913 or someone named
Robert W. Lloyd is now the owner. Note the above information showing the house being attached to the sewer in 1908.
Special note; Almond Street was changed to Fairmount Blvd., about 1912 or 1913 as per the City of Riverside.
County records show information. In 1915 Melinda Martin owned the house until 1920 where an additional owner, Ora
McDougall is showing. Note, that Ora McDougall was the neighbor next door at 201 N. Almond Street, and the wife of Stanley
R. McDougall. Stanley was the local blacksmith who had a shop in the downtown area on Lime Street near 8th Street. Stanley
McDougall's father, James McDougall is referenced in the historical book History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties,
Printed by The Western Historical Association, edited by John Brown and James Boyd in 1922, on page 1064 in volume ll,
along with Stanley and J. Boyd on page 1065. Also, if one looks in the local City Directories many of these people mentioned
in this history will located at the addresses noted.
John C. Neblett, who was born in Tennessee about 1882 and his wife Adaljae M., who was born in California in about 1889 is
shown to be living in our house according to the 1910 census. The census also lists John as owning the house.
In 1908, 1909 and 1910 the local telephone directories show John C. Neblett living at 455 N. Almond just up the street from
our house going towards the park. (During this time the address went up going away from 1st street in either direction. Our
address is going north from 1st street. If you went south on Almond into downtown the numbers also went up. The directory
of 1911 lists John as residing at 209 N. Almond. John was a driver for the Newberry-Parker Co.
The Newberry-Parker Co., was a grocery company who had 3 stores located in Riverside. One was located at 891 Main
Street, another at 400 8th and a 3rd store at the intersection of Van Buren and Magnolia. John became a Solicitor for the
same company according to the directory of 1910. The addresses would now correspond to 3891 Main, 3400 8th and I don't
have the address for the one on Van Buren and Magnolia.
City Directory of Riverside was combined for 1918 and 1919. In this directory it shows that J. Boyd McDougall and his wife
Lucy were living in the house. - J Boyd was a Deputy County Tax Collector. His brother Stanley R. McDougall lived next door
at 203 N. Almond.
County Records show the following: (as per research done by First American Title Company)
Melinda Martin Grant Deed to Michael Kring and his wife Alvina on 12-06-1919
Some other transactions I am not able to read took place between the above date and 03-26-1921 when
Clinton H. Lewis' name appears on the documents for the sale of the house to John Courdures. Clinton H. Lewis referenced
in the historical book History of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, Printed by The Western Historical Association,
edited by John Brown and James Boyd in 1922, on page 784 in volume ll. Clinton and his wife Emma, lived at 451 14th St.
Today his address would be 3451 14th St. I have not looked to see what is at that address today. Clinton was involved in
every phase of real estate. He is not related to other Lewis families, (Alfred Lewis, David Lewis) as far as I know.
Information directly from the county shows the following:
In the year 1919 the records show Melinda Martin owned the property, land value 250.00 and improvements 670.00. In 1920
the property was owned by both Melinda Martin and Ora McDougall with the same values. In 1921 M. Krieg took possession
and the improvements raised to 700.00. The following year 1922 John CouDoures (Different spelling, same person as
above.) is shown owning the property with a land value of 250.00 and improvements valued at 700.00.
A car salesman whose name was Joseph C. Jones, born in Kentucky in about 1890, his wife Agnes, who was born in Kansas
in about 1895 and their daughter Isabelle who was 5 years old, born in California, lived in the house in 1920 as per that
census. He did not own the house according to the census. There were many car lots on Market Street. Many of them are
now gone or are in the process of leaving as there is a tremendous amount of renovation taking place on Market Street from
1st to 5th, starting in early 2007.
County records show a transaction by Grant Deed on July 8th 1922 from John Courdures to LA Venable and MB Venable, as
Joint Tenants. LA Venable was a contractor from what information I have been able to gather. He built several homes in
Riverside according to city records. MB Venable was his wife.
In 1923 Frank W. Knight, his wife Marion along with John R. McWilliams and his wife Leila rented the home. John was a
bookkeeper for Sperry Flour Co.
LA Venable sold the house to JA Venable and Cora Venable 05-16-1923.
John A. Venable, (born 2-15-1901 in Ohio, died 7-13-1956 in Riverside) and his wife, Cora N. Venable lived in the house in
May 1925. John was a clerk at 325 Main Street. Later John became a local contractor. His company was called J. A. Venable
Construction Company. (See bottom of page for the list of known homes that he built.) His contractor stamp is in the cement
walkway in the back yard of the house. Click here to see a photo of both concrete stamps.
According to the Telephone Directory, Riverside County, December 1933 the telephone number for JA Venable was 1989-W.
In the September 1941 version, called Riverside Telephone Directory, the number was 1313. Both telephone directories
were published by the Southern California Telephone Company. Listed in the 1925 as Venable, John A. (Cora) at the
Fairmount Blvd. Address, and the 1927, Riverside City Directory lists John A. Venable as a building contractor at 209 N.
Fairmount Blvd. Cora his wife is also shown as an attdt for L. A. Thrasher. I believe she was taking care of the fellow.
John A. Venable became a partner in the Riverside Hardware Company which was located on Main and Ninth in downtown.
The partners Ray C. McCellan and John A. Venable who bought the firm in 1940 from Southwest Hardware Company. The
address for the Riverside Hardware Company in 1941, according to the directory cited above was 3630 8th street. The
Riverside Hardware Company closed in 1951.
An article found in our local newspaper, dated August 29, 1954 tells about the Riverside Hardware Company reopening in a
new concrete brick building located at 12th and Main. Crystal's Antiques is currently occupying the building. The full text of
both articles may be read by clicking this link. As of 2012 the building is now occupied by a legal firm and an upscale place to
1934 must have been a busy year at our house. 1934 marked on the side of the front steps. John Venable must have
poured the concrete steps and walkways around the house. His concrete stamp was placed in 2 spots in the back yard.
During that same time there may have been other changes to the house.
French doors were placed in the wall of the dining room leading to the side of the house. A bathroom was added between the
2 bedrooms. The entry to the front bedroom was changed to an entry from the main room of th house. A closet was added to
the front bedroom that extended into the yard at the side of the house. I believe the floor heater was installed during this
same time frame. Also, a large single car garage was built.
According to the Sanborn Map Company our house had other additions. They happened over several years from about
1918 to about 1930. The front porch was added, the sun deck over the root cellar was turned into a sun room by enclosing
the deck and adding 11 windows, 3 on each side and 5 across the back. The laundry room and garage were built about the
same time, along with the work shop. Between the garage and the carriage house, a room was built as a work shop that
shows on the Sanborn Map. The city records show the roof line of the shop connected to both buildings. The Sanborn
property map includes the house next door as a single property, undivided. The address for that property is 2937 and it was
built in 1924 or 1925.
This explains all the plumbing we found the laundry area. We found an opening of a four inch sewer line hidden in the broken
cement floor, and a 2 inch water line in the wall of the laundry room. The 4 inch line was broken. There were other
connections that were hidden for what must have been a bathroom, along with the connections for the existing laundry. The
old owners said they didn't know they were there. This also explains the old toilet
that was found when we moved in. There was evidence that people lived in the Carriage House long ago. It was deteriorated
pretty badly. At least until we revamped everything.
We were told a story by a couple who used to live across the street at 2988. They said in the 1980's, a very big, 60 to 70 foot
pine tree fell over into the street. The top of the tree landed between 2 parked cars all the way across the street. It is
amazing there was no damage to anything.
John Venable died on July 13th, 1956 at 55 years, 6 months and 28 days. He died of a cerebral contusion and laceration. His
death was caused by being thrown or knocked from his horse while out for a ride. Cora died many years before him, on June
4th, 1942 at 45 years, 9 months and 19 days. John’s second wife was Evelyn F. Venable. She worked at 12th Street
Cleaners in 1953.
On 12-2-1947 William Carl Klouda B Thorp, Wisconsin and his wife Bonmilla Belle (Blansham) Klouda bought our house. She
was a clerk for Charles O. Reid and William was in the US Air Force. They had a daughter, Betty Lou. William's service
record shows he had received several decorations and awards. World War Victory Medal; American Campaign Medal;
Honorable Service Lapel Button World War II; Good Conduct Medal Clasp w/2 Loops, Koren Service Medal; United Nations
Service Medal; National Defense Service Medal. His place of entry was Fort McArthur, CA 1945 and Edwards AFB, CA 1951.
His place of separation was Muroc, CA 1948 and Whiteman AFB, Sedalia, Mo 1955. He served 2 different terms, 9-14-1945
to 9-15-1948 at HQ and HQ Sq 2759th AFB, Muroc, CA 1945-1948 and from 19-16-1951 through 11-30-1955 stationed at
340th FLD Maintron, SAC 1951-1955. William's service number was 6-830-763.
02-11-1955 Paul H. Bigeck and his wife Etta bought the house. I have not been able to locate any information on these
11-12-1975 Violet I. Porter and Lee A Porter bought the house through Quit Claim process. She lived in Eugene Oregon.
The house was rented out.
On 02-02-1976 Terrance J Payton and Susan R Payton became owners of the house.
They rented the house out.
08-03-1977 Phillip Osborn became the owner and he rented the house out.
1984 - Vera Rangel is listed in the Telephone directory
1985 to 1987 - There is no information listed in the criss cross directories.
1988 - Carlos Mendez is listed in the Telephone directory
1989 – 1991 - There is no information listed in the criss cross directories.
May 22, 1991 - Frank and Patti Carpenter bought the home. Frank is a long time local roofer and Patti is involved with
teaching deaf children. They have 3 children.
We bought the house on November 21st and we officially moved in on November 26th, 2000 there were no trees in the front
yard. There were and still are 2 very large California palm trees on the City Right-of-way strip at the street. Take note the city
does not own that land, we do. They just own the trees they have planted and as we own the land, the obligation to take care
of that little strip is ours. And no, we can't remove the palm trees.
We have since planted 4 trees in the front yard. A Chinese Evergreen Elm (not it's real name), a Chinese Hackberry, A
Raywood Ash and a Jacaranda that my wife started from a seed. Also, 2 trees in the back yard, another Chinese Evergreen
Elm and an American Evergreen Elm. There is one more tree on the south side of the house near the bedroom window on
that side. I just don't remember what it is called.
In October 2013 the Chinese Elm was blown over by a tremendous Santa Ana Wind storm. Winds in excess of 50 mph with
gusts of 60 to 80 mph. Down it came. We are putting in a new tree, a Carolina Cherry. Not near as big or as fast a grower. It
will block the morning sun on the front porch.
Our neighbors next door were Stanley R. McDougall, Cora his wife and their daughter Elizabeth, who went by Betty.
1953 to 1958
John A. Venable lived at 8319 Magnolia Ave.
President of Riverside Hardware Company Tel # 9130-W
(There is an advertisement in the Buyers Guide on page 9 of the Riverside Directory.)
Evelyn F. Venable (2nd wife) worked and owned the 12th Street Cleaners, located on 12th St.
|Our house left to right - July 2000, July 2004, July 2008, October 2011
|Homes John Venable Built
According to City of Riverside Historical Database
6244 Nogales in 1922
2830 Woodbine in 1923
4266 Homeward Court in 1927
3395 Franklin in 1928
2962 Chestnut in 1929
3034 Lemon in 1929
3036 Lemon in 1929
4934 Greenfield in 1937
3549 Madison in 1937
4290 Gardena in 1938
3026 Lemon in 1938
6259 Sterns in 1938
4654 Beatty in 1939
4694 Beatty in 1939
4934 Granada in 1940