Have you ever fantasized
about living in Tustin in the 1800s? Wondered what
life would have been like in those years when people
and customs were so very different from the current
visualized yourself joining Stella Preble and
Jeanette Wilcox for a cup of tea and a chat about
the activities of the Ebell Society? Or attending a
party at the James Rice home and being entertained
by Coralinn Rice, Tustin's Sweet Song Bird, in a
duet with Madame Modjeska?
Perhaps your daydream is of being a guest at the
candlelight wedding of Martha Snow and Sherman
Stevens in the Tustin Presbyterian Church, then
crossing Main Street on a red carpet to enter their
new home for an elegant reception. Or maybe you have
a mental image of the excitement you experienced
when you received an invitation to attend the grand
opening of the Hotel of Tustin.
Regardless of the direction your fancies take, an
opportunity to return to life as it was in the 1880s
is being offered to you today. An English High Tea
held in the gardens at the Wilcox Manor on Saturday,
June 12 at 3 p.m. The event will relive the 1880s
and benefit the Tustin Area Historical Society,
Tustin Community Foundation, Tustin Area Council for
Fine Arts and Tustin Preservation Conservancy.
known as The Villa, the charming house at 310 S.
Ave. was originally part of a hotel. When Charles
Wilcox, a prominent horticulturist and business man
in Tustin, needed a larger home for his wife and two
daughters, he bought an abandoned three story hotel.
After having it moved to the Tustin site, he hired
builders to remove the third floor and turn the
commercial building into a beautiful home for his
Frequent guests at the home included members of
Tustin's younger set who were friends of the Wilcox
girls, as well as Mr. Wilcox's friends and business
associates, C. E. Utt, James Irvine, David Hewes,
Sherman Stevens and their wives. Property
surrounding the house was beautifully landscaped.
The planting was enhanced by a pair of camphor trees
estimated to be at least 50 feet tall and a lovely
house has experienced many changes over the last 100
years, but the current occupants, Lindburg
McPherson, son of a former ambassador who grew up on
Ambassador Row in Pasadena, and his partner, Michael
Demoratz, have turned the house into a showplace
with opulent furnishings. It was recently recognized
as a home of historical importance.
garden also has been restored to its original beauty
and is proving to be a popular setting for teas and
luncheons. Guests at the tea will be invited to tour
the interior of the house in addition to enjoying
the festive garden and culinary delights of the tea
cost per person for the tea is $25. Tickets may be
obtained from the benefiting organizations. Each
group is limited to 50 guests.