Where is this in Santa Cruz...and Do You Know the Story?

There's an interesting story behind this old house...

I'll tell it tomorrow, if readers don't fill it in the comments first. 
Amber Gillespie January 03, 2014 at 12:46 PM
I've always wondered about this.
Steven Bignell January 03, 2014 at 12:54 PM
Brad--I think that this is the Queen Anne on 3rd Street built for Frank McLaughlin who was a friend of Thomas Edison (it's on the Beach Hill walking tour). I'm looking forward to hearing your story about it.
Brad Kava (Editor) January 04, 2014 at 03:11 PM
On the morning of November 16, 1907, Agnes attended an early mass at Holy Cross Church in memory of her mother, who had died on that date two years before. Upon returning home she retired to her upstairs tower bedroom, loosened the whalebone corsets that grew ever more punishing as she thickened toward middle age, and laid down to rest on her sleigh bed of girlish bird's-eye maple. Aware that she was napping, the Major sent her maid out on an errand. Near 11 a.m., he softly entered her room, put a 44 caliber pistol to his beloved daughter's temple, and fired a bullet through her head. At the inquest, his friend and banker William Jeter recounted receiving a telephone call from McLaughlin between 10 and 11 that morning: "Please come to the house immediately." Jeter replied that he could not come at once, but he would be there as soon as he was at liberty. Then McLaughlin spoke in a changed tone. "You must come at once. I have just killed my Bob (his pet name for Agnes) and I am going to kill myself."[22]
Brad Kava (Editor) January 04, 2014 at 03:12 PM
It was the site of a tragedy: Frank McLaughlin killed his daughter and himself.
Amber Gillespie January 04, 2014 at 03:37 PM
That's a sad, but interesting bit of history. No explanation as to why? (Any information on that door in the back downstairs? It had to have lead to somewhere once upon a time.)
W C Casey January 05, 2014 at 11:25 AM
In "Sidewalk Companion to Santa Cruz Architecture", p.14-15, author John Chase mentions a couple of theories about the murder-suicide (without giving sources). 1) The date was the second anniversary of the death of McLaughlin's wife. 2) Financial problems stemming from a failed gold mining venture. The door in back may have opened onto a deck, or else some of the cliff has fallen away.
Rick Calmes January 05, 2014 at 02:09 PM
The building above this door is the original stable house and held the horse's above with the animal waste dropping down to where the door is level. This door would allow the waste cart to pull up and they would opened to shovel out. No stairs have ever been attached to this door.
Brad Kava (Editor) January 05, 2014 at 08:29 PM
Fascinating, Rick and W.C....so glad to have historians among us
Amber Gillespie January 05, 2014 at 09:02 PM
Shannon McFarland January 05, 2014 at 09:41 PM
This is in fact the carriage house for 924 Third Street. My Mother Patricia Wilder has owned and been restoring this home for over 50 years. The Major did in fact murder his STEP daughter Agnes on that fateful morning. As to why no one truly knows except the Major. Yes he was in financial ruins but Agnes was engaged to be married to a wealthy man. She was 32. The Carriage house has a turntable floor for the carriages and yes the manure was shoveled out the door to later be removed from the street below.Agnes was quite a celebrity in Santa Cruz and people would line the streets to see her pass on the way to Holy Cross Church.Despite being a place of tragedy the house has a beautiful calm energy.And yes not only was Frank McLaughlin friends with Tomas Edison..Thomas did the electrical work in the house!
Lars Mapstead January 06, 2014 at 10:59 AM
The house had Elephant Hide for wallpaper in the dining room, but it was lost in the 89 earthquake. I own the house across the street. The stained glass window in the stairwell is Tiffiney Glass, very rare piece.
Shannon McFarland January 07, 2014 at 01:00 AM
The stained glass portrait of Agnes is of Tiffany quality..Antiques Road Show did a segment about the house in 2004.It is alleged that Teddy Roosevelt shot the elephants while on safari and gave them to the owner who upholstered the dinning room walls.Due to water damage from the earthquake the "SKINS" were damaged beyond repair.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something