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Oldest house in Los Altos: Merriman site serves as backdrop for museum fundraiser


Town Crier File Photo
The Winchester-Merriman House on Edgewood Lane is considered the oldest standing home in Los Altos.

Los Altos History Museum supporters have scheduled a fundraiser, "A Los Altos Garden Party Evening of Memories and Mysteries," 5:30-8:30 p.m. June 14 at the historical Winchester-Merriman House on Edgewood Lane in Los Altos, an 1880s-era property considered the oldest standing home in the city.

The event will include stories about Sarah Winchester’s connection to the home, live music, dancing, catered food, specialty cocktails and wine tasting from local vintners.

According to a Town Crier article by historian Robin Chapman published last year, the Winchester-Merriman House sits on land that was once part of the 4,440-acre Rancho San Antonio, granted to Juan Prado Mesa in 1839. Mesa, a soldier, died in 1845. His executor sold the land for 7 cents per acre.

In 1888, there was a four-room cottage on the property when Winchester purchased it for her sister Isabelle Merriman, who wanted to raise carriage horses here. Winchester had inherited her husband’s Winchester rifle fortune and built San Jose’s Winchester Mystery House.

The sisters transformed the Edgewood site, building a 12-room Carpenter Gothic house they called "El Sueño," or "The Daydream." It features oblique angles, fish-scale shingles and intentionally mismatched windows - a hallmark of stylish homes of the era.

The property is an official city historical landmark.

For tickets and more information, call 948-9427 or visit losaltoshistory.org

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