Descanso Branch Library - 9545 River Dr. (619)445-5279
Library Hours Tues. - 12pm -7pm Wed. & Thurs. -10am - 6pm Fri. & Sat. - 10am - 5pm Hours

Sunday– Monday Closed


Historical Stone Houses of Descanso

Authors: Members of the Friends History Committee - Mollie Jean, Carole Dearman, Sandie Arthurs, Jo Fritsch, Marguerite English

Photos by Carole Dearman except for Gassart House photo.

Brown Oaks

Brown Oaks, 1930. Built by Jim and Star Russell on River Road. The many steps to the front door reflect the masterful masonry of Harry McCoy. John
Schmucker, a local cabinet maker, secreted a closet in the home. B. Davidson purchased it in 1999.

Bermegefran, c. 1927. Built on Tanglewood Lane for Bert and Meave Sharman. Ott McCoy added the
stone room in 1949. The home was named after Bert, Meave and their two daughters Gen and Fran. Granddaughter J.B.Bowman and husband Ron Bowman were the owners as of 2013.




Circle T Ranch, c. 1940. A stone one-room bungalow built by the Losch family as living quarters and later used by their ranch hands.



Austin “Ott” McCoy House, 1933. Built by “Ott” McCoy in Descanso Park. Daughter P. McCoy Krahling & husband R. Krahling currently own the house. Inset: Next door, Harry McCoy House, 1927 was the first stone house built in Descanso. Harry
and son, “Ott” were both noted master masons.

Johnson HomeJohnson Home

The Johnson Home, 1920. Built by H.M. Johnson, manager for the Mountain Commercial Co., which developed the Descanso Park Terrace Subdivision.
Currently owned by master woodcarver
W. Chappelow. Inset: 1. Front view from street. 2.Back of house showing rock work detail.

Descanso Park Cabin, 1926. Built by Peter Jacobs on Viejas Blvd. This A-frame rock cabin originally consisted of one room and a loft. It features a large
oak log above the front doors and  diamond pane windows. The homeowners have maintained the
look of a stone cabin through all upgrades.






Descanso Rock Cabin Rental, 1929. Built by Peter Jacobs in Descanso Park. This Craftsman style dwelling is owned and rented out by S. Arthurs (2013). Faced with garnet-embedded local rock and a heart-shaped rock below the mantel (a trademark of Jacobs cabins), it is an historic landmark.





Lilac CabinLilac Cabin

Lilac Cabin

Lilac Ridge Cabin, 1918. Located on the stage route to Stonewall mine. Local lore suggests that the building was used as a stage stop. L. Roberts and L. McClellen, local willow-furniture manufacturers, owned this property for several years. photo2. Front of same cabin.
photo3 Old stalls made into house.



Lulu’s Rock Cabin, 1928. Built by Peter Jacobs.
This dwelling features native rock and “oatmeal” mortar made of river bottom sand. The fireplace is local hand-dressed blue granite and the original cabinets remain. The kitchen ceiling is pressed copper.

Kennedy home

L. & D. Kennedy Rock House, 1922. Built by Peter Jacobs as a clubhouse for residents of Descanso Park. It is thought to have the first telephone installed in Descanso Park and still has an original junction box with wires that led out to nearby houses. Insets: 1. an unusual art glass window. 2 Jacobs mantle.

Merigan Ranch

Merigan Ranch House, c. 1930. Built by Frank
Schaefer, who also ran the Hulburd Grove Stables. Once used as quarters for the Oliver Ranch Dairy, the house became known as the A.T. Hawley Rental Cabin. It is currently owned by the State of California.



Mack House, c. 1930. Built by the Lanes. This Tudor style home has period lead glass windows and a steeply sloped roof. Electricity was installed during the 1940's. This structure and outlying buildings are located on Highway 79, which roughly follows the Kumeyaay Trail.

Gassert House, 1929. Built by a steel businessman in Descanso Park subdivision. This country retreat showcases Harry McCoy’s masonry expertise. Vacant for an extended period of time, it was purchased by a local teacher in the 70’s. Currently (2013) owned by the Gasserts.

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