Thursday, January 21, 2010


This is a replica of my great-great grandmother's home in San Francisco before the big 1906 earthquake and fire. She was a widow alone with 6 daughters and decided to turn her home into a boarding house for gentlemen only.....hoping the girls would find husbands, I guess. One of her boarders was a jeweler by trade and in the evenings began carving this replica of the house with his pen knife. His eyesight must have been exceptional because of the fine detail he included in this little house. It only measures about 5" X 10". The artistic part really shows as you can take off the roof and see all of the top floor, complete with furniture and those little extra things of what was found there at that time....chests, beds with cover, candle, those little porcelin bowls used for during-the-night-necessities. After the tour of the top floor, you lift off that and find the entire first with table and all the individual chairs, the table is set of course. The stove, a dog and some people. In the front sitting room is my Aunt Lily playing the piano along side a table that sits in the center of the room with the Holy Bible on it. The back porch has the outhouse, shower room, clothes lines you can see on the very top in this first photo. I don't know how long it took the man to carve this, but it is amazing, isn't it? I'm sure one of the San Francisco museums would love to have it. The home had to be destroyed to help prevent the fire from spreading and devastating more of the city. My grandmother remember them having to go to a 'tent city' up on Twin Peaks and she could look down and see much of the city burning.
I still have the trunk that my great grandfather made that held many of the items that were taken from that home.....what items that they could carry were in that trunk as the house was being blown up. I treasure every nick and dent on it and what it meant.


  1. Wow, that is really an amazing piece of artistry. That's so cool that you have it too. Thanks for sharing it and the story!

  2.'s kind of neat to know some of those old stories....the good, the bad and the ugly. Guess they all fit together somehow in the end.