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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Benicia in Solano County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Merritt House C. 1869

Also known as the What-Not-Shop

 
 
Merritt House C. 1869 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 25, 2009
1. Merritt House C. 1869 Marker
Inscription. Original two story front portion of this building has mortise and tenon-frame walls with solid wood plank sheathing inside.

Preservation by Carl & Alice Merritt
Mayors Award 1990
(Marker Number 15.)
 
Location. 38° 2.862′ N, 122° 9.649′ W. Marker is in Benicia, California, in Solano County. Marker is on West D Street west of First Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 123 West D Street, Benicia CA 94510, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Solano Hotel (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Benicia Historic Tannery - Circa 1890 (about 400 feet away); The Bohn Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Founders of Benicia (approx. 0.2 miles away); Robert Semple (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old State Capitol (approx. 0.2 miles away); Antonio M. De LaGuerra 1825 – ‘81 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fischer-Hanlon House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Benicia.
 
More about this marker. The marker is set inside a wooden frame mounted on a wooden pole, to the left of the sidewalk leading up to the front door. This is a private residence.
 
Also see . . .  Merritt House. The California State Department of Parks and Recreation's State Historic Preservation Office listing for the building, "One of Benicia’s
Merritt House (Circa 1869 ) - View from Southwest image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 25, 2009
2. Merritt House (Circa 1869 ) - View from Southwest
Per the Benicia Historical Society Historic District Brochure: Prefabricated in Maine and reassembled in its present location, the small two room annex in the rear of the building is believed to have been built here prior to 1848 and contains original chimney among its other features. Prior to its most recent renovation in 1988, this residence was called the "What Not Shop," an antique and collectibles store and is now a private residence.
oldest surviving houses, the Merritt house is constructed with mortise and tenon joining. Rectangular in plan and only one room deep, this Vernacular Style residence has the form of a traditional I-house. The I-house is a British folk form that was common throughout the U.S., migrating from the Tidewater South, through the Midwest to the western states. Simple and restrained, the house exhibits planar surfaces devoid of embellishment. The principal house is two-story and is surmounted by a low hip roof with slight boxed eaves and a plain cornice....It also is a rare example of 19th-century mortise and tenon construction which was employed very little in California, where the light and inexpensive balloon frame became the predominant structural form shortly after the gold rush....It has been signed by the city as a Landmark indicating that at some point it was formally designated, but this is not reflected in city records. It contributes to the local Downtown Benicia Historic District...." (Submitted on December 27, 2009.) 
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Merritt House - View from Southeast image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, December 25, 2009
3. Merritt House - View from Southeast
Directly in front of the house is a sign indicating that the Merritt House (aka Davis-Merritt House) is stop #7 on the Benicia Historical Society's walking tour of the historical district.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 27, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 812 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 27, 2009, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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