After last week's column on the historic site where the Western Trails Museum used to sit, I thought I'd follow up with one more piece of the past.
The day Maria Hall-Brown and I visited the old site to tape a segment of PBS SoCal's "Forgotten OC" series, which we co-host, I also wanted to visit another important, hidden Huntington Beach landmark.
It's right by where Main Street crosses Yorktown Avenue, just across from City Hall. You pull in where Sunrise Senior Living is and park there on the side street. Just in front of a cottage that's part of Sunset is a plaque. The first line on it reads, "Uphill from this marker once stood the Northam Ranch House, a pivotal landmark in the history of Huntington Beach."
Between 1894 and 1897, Col. Robert J. Northam, manager of the Stearns Ranchos Co., bought seven parcels from the company and built his mansion on this site. He actually had a mule team move at least one home to the property, then "Diamond Bob" (as Northam became known for his expensive tastes) added to it over the years.