Visit the past | May 20, 2011 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - May 20, 2011

Visit the past

Historic home tour offers glimpse into yesteryear

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Did a witch really live in the old Victorian house at 733 Division St.? That's what the neighborhood children used to think.

The 1895 Queen Anne style home with its distinctive turret, now owned by George and Linda Garbarino, is on Sunday's tour of six historic homes offered by the Museum On Main and the Pleasanton Heritage Association. The event is a chance to see the insides of special residences on Neal, Division, Second and St. Mary streets as well as the Light House Baptist Church on Neal at Second.

"All of these homeowners are so gracious to let us in," said museum Events Chairwoman Rebecca Bruner. "They feel that they are keeping these homes for the people in the community, that they belong to the community and they are the caretakers."

The homes have had some remodeling done over the decades, she noted, but all of these owners have tried to keep their houses in character with the era in which they were built.

One of the residences, the old Arendt home on Second Street, was used in the filming of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm," starring Mary Pickford, in 1917, as the house where Rebecca went to live with her aunts. The old Baptist Church was also featured in the original movie and a 2009 remake with Pleasanton residents, of "Tom Sawyer."

Bruner said a bonus of the tour is that the homes are all within walking distance of each other, downtown and the Museum On Main, 603 Main St.

"You can walk from one end of town to another," she said. "That's what I've always done."

Tax-deductible tickets, $25 each, are available now and on the day of the tour at the Museum On Main where participants will pick up booklets containing the addresses and histories of the homes. The museum will have refreshments as well as ongoing showings of the movies "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" and "Tom Sawyer."

The money goes toward museum programs and exhibits and its archives.

Bruner said she has organized Pleasanton home tours in the past and each one elicits more stories about the history of the old houses in town. Now, she said, the tour will be an ongoing event.

"We want to keep introducing everyone to the wonderful historical buildings and information that we have had the honor as the museum to preserve for the people of Pleasanton," Bruner said. "I just think we have some wonderful older homes in town. It's really fun to see them and to see the work and care and details that go into the homes."

The home tour takes place from noon-4 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit