|History of the Home at 209 North Almond Street
information below is a simple example of what can be located within the City of Riverside records found in the Building
Department of Riverside. A great deal of information may be found by contacting the Riverside County Assessors Office.
They are able to assist locating who owned the Home going back to about 1893, when the County was founded.
Researching the old City Directories held in Riverside's Local History Library, located in the lower level of the downtown
library, will reveal a great many names and addresses of those who lived and worked in our wonderful city.
Riverside Land and Irrigating Company bought the S. C. C. A., after a long battle over water rights. In 1895. R. L. I. C.,
filed tracts maps for all of the property they had acquired. The Fairmount Heights Tract, Map Number 4, was filed with
the City of Riverside and is found in the City Records, in Map Book #1, page #49. (Note; this map was originally located
in the Recorders office of San Bernardino, in Map Book #7 on page #8, date unknown at this time.) Samuel Cary Evans
was a large stock owner in R. L. I. C. In July of 1903, parts of Fairmount Heights Tract was broken up and sold. John G.
North requested the filing accounting for the transfer of the property from S. C. C. A., to the R. L. I. C.
The Crescent Avenue Subdivision was filed on the 25th of July in 1903, thus beginning the transformation from open
land to available lots to build homes. This Tract map is located in Map Book #4 on page #99. Several parcels were sold
between 1903 and 1905, when the last subdivision was filed. The Lewis Villa Tract was filed February, 1905, in Map
Book #5 on page #122. 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.
The Parcel number in that tract for this property was #14. Mr. David William Lewis built his home on parcel #9 and
#10 in the previous year, 1906. 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, in volume ll. On page 225 in the Riverside City Directory of 1925, David W. Lewis
and Edith B. Lewis, are listed at 220 Redwood Drive. Edith B. Lewis is listed on a separate line, at the same home
address and as a bookkeeper for the title company.
Further, on page 317 of the 1925 Directory, David W. Lewis was the President and Manager of Riverside County
Title Guarantee Company, located on Main and 10th in the Pennsylvania Building, Room 210. The address of the Edith
is also listed on a separate line, as a Bookkeeper for the same company. 1927 volume of the Riverside City Directory
both David and his wife Edith are listed in West Riverside. Mr Lewis is shown working in partnership with a Mr. Parker,
and being a title officer of the Riverside County Title Guaranty Company. The title company is located at 910 Market
with different officers. The partnership has a listing with an address at the Market St., address, David W. Lewis and
Garald W. Parker.
Their son, Benjamin H. Lewis is listed as Map Maker for the same company at the same home address. In the Directory
of 1927 of the same Directory company, Benjamin Lewis is listed as being a salesman for Easy Housekeeping Shop.
The shop was located at 984 Market. The Manager was Arthur C. Wright. They sold washing and ironing machines,
electrical appliances and vacuum cleaners. Benjamin H. Lewis became a Mayor of the City of Riverside several years
value in 1907 was 110.00 with no improvements. In 1893 William Reinhuber lived at address of 451 Third Street in the
1893 Riverside County Directory. He was a Horticulturist.
According to the City of Riverside property records, a house was built on the property located at 209 N. Almond in
the year 1907. The house was connected to the city sewer system in 1908. A permit was issued to 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.
In 1908 Robert W. Lloyd is shown to be the owner. Value is still at 110.00 for the land. Mr. Lloyd made the 1st
improvement showing value at 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.
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 this 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 this house, going North towards the park. 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.
The City Directory of Riverside was combined for 1918 and 1919. According to this directory, J. Boyd McDougall and
his wife Lucy were living in the house at 209 Fairmount Blvd. J Boyd was a Deputy County Tax Collector. His brother
Stanley R. McDougall lived next door at 203 Fairmount Blvd.
The following information came from the Riverside County Records, Melinda Martin Grant Deed to Michael Kring and
his wife Alvina on 12-06-1919. The property was valued at 250.00 and the improvements at 670.00.
On 03-26-1921 the name Clinton H. Lewis appears on the documents showing 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. Clinton was involved in every phase
of real estate. There has been no information to show if. Clinton Lewis is related to David Lewis.
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 year 1922 shows John CouDoures 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.
valued at 700.00. County records show a transaction by Grant Deed on July 8th 1922 from John Courdures to Lewis A.
Venable and M. Bertha Venable, as Joint Tenants. Lewis A. Venable and his wife Bertha M. Venable lived at 1205 W.
5th St. Lewis was a building contractor, per the 1925 Riverside City Directory. The Riverside City Records shows he built
many homes in the city.
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.
Lewis A. Venable sold the house to his son, John A. Venable and Cora Venable on 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.
The 1925 Riverside Directory shows Venable, John A. (Cora) at the address of 209 Fairmount Blvd. In 1927 the
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 that Mr. Thrasher was her father.
change so there would no longer be problems with the same address appearing in two different directions for the same
According to the Telephone Directory, Riverside County, December 1933 the telephone number for JA Venable was
1989-W. The September 1941 Riverside Telephone Directory, shows their telephone number was 1313. Both telephone
directories were published by the Southern California Telephone Company.
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 all 3 articles may be read by clicking this link.
As of 2012 the building is now occupied by a legal firm and an upscale dinning establishment now known as the Salted
Pig, and Augies, an upscale coffee grinding shop.
John Venable poured the concrete steps and walkways around the house. His concrete stamp is in the concrete
walkway in the back yard. Other changes were made much earlier 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 along with a floor
heater. The door to the front bedroom was moved from the hallway, to entering from the great room of the house. A
closet was added to the front bedroom that extended into the yard at the side of the house. Also, a large single car
garage was built.
The house had other additions. They happened from about 1922 to about 1930. I believe Lewis A. Venable began
the construction with the workshop. 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 was built about the same time as the work shop. The garage was between the garage and the
carriage house, a room was built as a work shop. The Sanborn records shows the roof line of the work shop connected
the carriage house to the garage. However, the workshop was built before the garage. The original roof of the workshop
was removed and then replaced when the garage was built. Years later the workroom walls were removed. The
workroom roof was again removed at some time. Then in the late 30's the workroom and the roof was replaced.
An old four inch clay sewer line and a two inch drain line was found in the laundry room, while inspecting for damage
to the floor and the whole laundry room. The concrete was in great need of repair as it was badly broken by tree roots.
The laundry room was out of alignment by 3 inches. The remnants of a bathroom was found within the laundry room
Old bottles, broken porcelain and clay pipe pieces were found in the yard where junk was buried on the property.
The drain line and the sewer line were inspected and the sewer line was repaired. And, the laundry room was realigned
to where it was supposed to be. The laundry room had been moved 3 inches by the huge mulberry tree that had been
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 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.
Wisconsin and his wife Bonmilla Belle (Blansham) Klouda. 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 9-16-1951 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. Paul and his wife lived in this house for 20 years.
They moved back east to be close to their family in 1975. I have not been able to locate information on this couple.
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. He was a landlord of this property for 14
years. Not much was care was given to the house. Old photos of the house show it was in pretty bad shape. Neighbors
report that many people lived in the house during this time frame.
1984 - Vera Rangel is listed in the Telephone directory
1985 to 1987 - There is no information listed in the criss cross directories. Neighbors report that many people lived in
the house during this time frame.
1988 - Carlos Mendez is listed in the Telephone directory. Neighbors report the house as being occupied by many
1989 – 1991 - There is no information listed in the criss cross directories. Neighbors report that many people lived in
the house during this time frame.
May 22, 1991 - Mr. and Mrs. A. Anonymous. (Their names have been withheld for privacy reasons) bought the home.
They made repairs and did many things to improve the house. They made it more livable for their growing family.
A few side notes:
tree fell over into the street. The top of the tree landed between 2 cars that were parked all the way across the street. It
was amazing there was no damage to the cars.
In 1906, the house at 203 N. Almond was owned by Stanley R. McDougall, Cora his wife and their daughter Elizabeth.
Her nickname was Betty. She was a student of the Riverside schools and attended Riverside Poly High School. Click on
Stanley's name above and go to a historical page about them.
1953 to 1958, John A. Venable lived at 8319 Magnolia Ave. John was the President of Riverside Hardware Company.
The company telephone number was # 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., that
was part of the building that John built for the hardware company.
John A. Venable Built these Homes
According to the City of Riverside
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