When we first moved to Blue Lake, CA I was fascinated by the old houses, and their old doors. We spent one evening walking around town, me taking photos of doors, Don trying to act inconspicuous as he waited for me to finish taking pictures of people's houses.
The houses were all built between 1888 and 1902.
Blue Lake was a new town, founded by a Frenchman who offered French citizens 100.00 in cash and a city lot to build their house on if they would come to America.
The people that accepted the offer came by ship around through the Panama Canal - it sometimes took them over a month at sea to reach their destination - and then they had to come by a smaller steamship up to Blue Lake from San Francisco.
The houses were beautiful as were the gardens, but one thing that the French brought that was not welcome - the huge snails. Some escaped from their kitchens and it is still a constant battle to keep the snails from eating everything in the gardens. One snail can strip 6 good size marigold plants in one night.
Many of the homes are on the National Register of Historic Homes.
Notice the doorbell - just above the horizontal decoration - slightly to the right (painted light pink). You twist the knob of the bell and it rings inside.
This home has been turned into a business.
This house was in sad shape - it is waiting for someone to fix it up and give it new life
This is the front door to our house. It had been painted HOT PINK with burgundy trim - the front of the house had faded to a softer, dirty pink. It was painted over 40 years before we moved in, so it was time for a change. Don picked the color scheme - keeping it traditional. Pale sky blue with white and navy blue trim. The paint store mixed the darker color for us - it is now available as Navy Gumbo - Don chose the paint name too. So if you want that exact color - ask for Navy Gumbo at Sherwin Williams - they will mix it for you.
After painting - that's better.
The house was built with wood from just one redwood tree. The man who built the house cut the tree and milled his own lumber with the help of his son. They had enough wood to built two more houses just like this one, from the same redwood tree.
Because it was redwood the house had to be hand scraped and then primed with oil base primer. If primed with latex paint the redwood would soak through the paint and make big stain marks, ruining the whole paint job.
We painted the house in September, and the coastal weather turned cold and misty near the end. We painted a big portion of the back of the house the last day, and when we got up in the morning all the paint had slid down the wall and puddled on the ground. We had to repaint - on a warmer day, and finished the job two days before our 25th anniversary trip to Wisconsin on Amtrak (a gift from our kids).
After we painted our house our neighbors saw the improvement and many of the others houses in town got a new coat of paint. It was fun to walk up and down and see the community spirit of improvement.