Saturday, July 4, 2009

Stockslager - Farraher House 1875 & 1899

Photos: Copyright, Don & Claudia East, 2009

This unique home sits at 318 Third Street, right in the middle of the National Historic District section of homes in Yreka, California.

Fred Stockslager, of German heritage, was born in Pennsylvania in 1830. He, like many others of his time, became caught up in "gold fever" and left for California before he was 20. His mining career lasted about 9 years, but he never struck it rich or found his fortune. After mining, he eventually became a brick maker and builder. At first he co-owned a lime business and lime quarry that was located East of the Forest House in "Lime Gulch". He later operated a brick kiln to feed his building business.

It was 1875 and Fred Stockslager was awarded a contract to build a new brick jail across from the Siskiyou County Courthouse. This jail sat on the corner of Fourth and Lane Streets for 91 years. The building served as the jail, offices for the Agricultural Commissioner, offices for the Forest Service, and for many years served as the public library. The building was eventually razed and in its place was built the brick offices of the Newton & Newton Law Firm. (Photos of the "jail" building can be viewed in our book, Yreka, Images of America on pages 64 and 87.) Mr. Stockslager was also commissioned to rebuild the Catholic Church nearby in 1876 following the great fire of 1871.

The house in the photo first stood at this location in 1873. It was originally a two story brick building with a brick foundation. Mr. Stockslager built this house in which to raise his family. He was married in 1872 to Josephine Brautlacht. Here they had a family of four. Unfortunately both parents died before the children were grown. Before his death, however, Mr. Stockslager made arrangements with various families to take his children after his death and be able to work for their room and board. The home was sold at public auction along with his personal belongings and other real estate to a George Simmons of Hawkinsville for a little over $3,300.

In 1896 a local attorney, Mr. James Farraher, purchased the home for a mere $2,000. In 1899 he had this home rebuilt in the style we view today.

Historical information about the Stockslager - Farraher House was gleaned from the 1965 and 1993 editions of the Siskiyou Pioneer, as well as from the locally well-known book, Houses That Talk by Fred and Bernice Meamber that was published in 1986.

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