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Judge Johnson and Sarah Horrell House and the Hayman Cottage
The Judge Johnson and Sarah Horrell House and the Hayman Cottage in Napa is the winner of a 2019 Preservation Design Award for Restoration. Award recipients are selected by a jury of top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering, planning, and history, as well as renowned architecture critics and journalists. In making their decision, the jury noted the incredible work done to unearth the home’s past, stating, “there was a major research project to discover the house’s history, and to return the structure back to its original beauty.”
The Award will be presented on Friday, October 18, 2019 at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco. Tickets and sponsorship options are available at californiapreservation.org/awards.
About this project
The Horrell House had been neglected for decades with historical elements removed so that it was barely recognizable from its original Gothic Revival style. However, if you looked beyond all this you could see traces of its former glory – the sawn-off bargeboard, the old portico foundation, and evidence of shutters once adorning this old house. Many hours of research and discovery of its past revealed its important early Napa history and the family that built it circa 1856. There were only three families that owned the house until 1947, the last being the Hayman family that lived there over fifty years (1895-1947). The Hayman’s built a shingled cottage in the rear in 1907. After the Hayman’s sold the property, the main house was divided into poorly constructed multiple units and was disregarded for over a half a century. The 2014 earthquake rendered the structures inhabitable and at the same time provided the opportunity to rescue this property.
The City of Napa was founded in 1847 by Nathan Coombs. Johnson Horrell was an early resident of Napa having arrived at the age of 54 from Pennsylvania with his second wife, Sarah N. Pedley and their one year old daughter in about 1850. He took on a central position in public affairs for the city and county of Napa from its very beginning and was known throughout the community and state as a hard-working and skillful attorney. He was one of the first judges having been appointed Napa County Judge from 1852 – 1853. It wasn’t until the current owner purchased the house in 2015 and delved into the history of the house that is was discovered the house was much older than was originally believed. Researching various maps and deeds it was discovered the house was the first house built on the block probably in 1856, however it was located around the corner. It was moved to its current location in 1890. Also, by chance Horrell’s name was discovered on a piece of paper tagged to the inside of the curved interior staircase confirming it was built by the Horrells. The construction of a Gothic Revival style home in early Napa was a bold statement by Horrell. The Victorian/Craftsman shingled cottage at the rear of the property was built by Luther and Eva Hayman in 1907. The old carriage house, possibly original to the main house, still exists today in modern downtown Napa.
Owner / Client
David Wilcox, The VERTEX Companies, Inc.
Michael Chamberlain, Chamberlain Construction