Pictured above is the Hudson B. Gillis Home built in 1895. The photo in the image above appeared in a magazine article dated May, 1897. This lovely victorian stands at the corner of North Oregon and Yama Streets in Yreka, California. The home has had some changes and updating throughout the years, but largely looks much the same today as in the photo, however mature trees and plants currently grace the yard. In this image the streets are not yet paved, but if you notice at the far right a power pole can be seen. By 1897 Yreka had electrical service and by 1898 telephone service!
Hudson B. Gillis was born in 1842 in New York State, but his family moved to Iowa in 1849 and Hudson was raised there. He attended the Iowa Wesleyan University of Mount Pleasant, Iowa and graduated from a study in Law in June of 1869. In the fall of that same year he came west to California. He continued his law studies in Sacramento and following moved to Yreka. While in Yreka he continued to study law under Judge E. Steele and was admitted to the Siskiyou Bar in 1871. It was in the fall of this same year he married Anna M. Reynolds in Yreka and established his home and his own successful law practice. In 1875 he became the District Attorney, and he was a active and dedicated Master Mason, holding the honor of Worthy Master. Gillis was active in political affairs as well as holding many local interests. Hudson B. Gillis died on 1 May, 1907.
As of this writing the "Gillis Mansion" is currently for sale, it has been operating as a Bed and Breakfast but other than that has been a private home since it was built. During mid-century the building was "updated" with asbestos shingle siding, a popular surface put on the exterior of buildings to provide additional insulation, some fireproofing, and the ability to provide years of service without additional painting. During the 1990s the owners lovingly removed the siding and restored the buildings exterior to its original beauty. The interior of the house has a great deal of its original charm, hosting a beautiful curved staircase at the foyer entrance to the home. The home boasts a total of 7,562 square feet of living space in three stories, with most of that being original footage.
You can learn a bit more about this wonderful Yreka home in our book, Yreka, Images of America Series from Arcadia Publishing. You will find it on page 56.
Copyright: Claudia A. East, 2008.