About the Colony

Atascadero’s Colony Home Tour offers look inside four historic houses

A photo from the Atascadero Historical Society archives shows the home at 5825 Ridgeway Court, now owned by Mark and Debra Turner. It is one of four on the 2016 Colony Home Tour and was built in 1916 by R.P. O’Connor, secretary of the Colony Holding Corp.
A photo from the Atascadero Historical Society archives shows the home at 5825 Ridgeway Court, now owned by Mark and Debra Turner. It is one of four on the 2016 Colony Home Tour and was built in 1916 by R.P. O’Connor, secretary of the Colony Holding Corp.

The Atascadero Historical Society is reviving one of its most popular events. On Saturday, the society will host a Colony Home Tour. The event is being brought back after being on hiatus for a year.

This year’s tour will be from noon to 4 p.m. The Historical Society has always believed that the Colony homes — those houses built between 1915 and 1924 — are actually an extension of the museum. They represent the E.G. Lewis years in Atascadero. Lewis purchased the 23,000-acre Henry cattle ranch in 1913 and was forced into involuntary receivership in December 1924.

Each house in this year’s tour is an excellent example of the Colony period. The four homes include:

▪  3055 El Camino Real, owned by Noel York and Marcia Bisges.

▪  5825 Ridgeway Court, owned by Mark and Debra Turner.

▪  5561 Tunitas Ave., owned by Jim and Beth Berg.

▪  5735 San Pedro Ave., owned by Bruce Bonifas and Barbara Waheed.

The Society’s Colony House Museum next to the City Hall parking lot will also be on display and is the source of tickets. You may also purchase tickets at each of the homes. Tickets are $15 for society members and $20 for nonmembers. Tickets are also available at the Chamber of Commerce.

I’m anxious to visit the home at 3055 El Camino Real. I’ve driven by it for 50 years and never seen the inside.

This house was built in 1916 by a single woman, Marian S. Devereaux. It was the subject of many field trips by local schoolchildren.

The house has a link to American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne. Marian’s mother was Hawthorne’s cousin. As she shared stories about her home and the many artifacts from Salem, Mass., Miss Devereaux would sit in a chair that once belonged to Daniel Webster.

The home owned by Bruce Bonifas and Barbara Waheed on San Pedro Avenue is surrounded by other Colony homes. In fact, it is the only street in Atascadero with five original Colony houses side by side.

The Turner house on Ridgeway Court was built in 1916 by R.P. O’Connor, who was secretary for the Colony Holding Corp.

The Bergs’ house on Tunitas Avenue, built in 1915, is exemplary in preserving the original craftsmanship and architectural detail.

You’ll find all these houses in a fine state of repair.

A reception will be held in the Colony House Museum starting at 4 p.m. for all those taking part in the home tour.

If you need more information, you can go to www.atascaderohistoricalsociety.org.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for five decades, and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.

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