The Brown House
The Story Behind the Blue – Brown House
The Rudolph J. Brown house and adjacent tank house, originally located at Grand Avenue and McVicar, were moved by the Wildomar Historical Society to a temporary location on Central Avenue. This distinctive structure is an essential part of our history that needs preservation.
The Brown family were a pioneering family in Wildomar. Dr. Oscar Brown moved to Wildomar in 1890 to improve his health. He setup a practice out of his home on Olive Street. Rudolph’s grandfather, Columbus Brown also lived for a time in Wildomar. In 1904-1907 Columbus was a trustee on the Wildomar School Board.
In 1899 Oscar Brown took a job as a surgeon for the Southern Pacific Railroad that took him to Arizona. He maintained his home and family in Wildomar where he visited often until his death at the age of 91. Of his three children Prudence, Elfred and Rudolph, it was Rudolph J. who graduated from Berkley with a degree in Agriculture to return to Wildomar to make his living. Rudolph Brown was a founding member of the Riverside County Farm Bureau. His community service included being a trustee of the Wildomar School District in 1926. His wife was a trustee from 1933-1936.
For at least 60 years this Rudolph Brown house was the headquarters for the ranch and farming activities of Rudolph J. Brown and then his son David A. Brown. Initially built in 1886, a major addition to the house was made in the early 1900’s. Porches, later were enclosed were likely added in the 1930’s, along with accessory buildings at the farm. The original structure from 1886 can still be identified from the inside of the house.
The tank house has a two story high frame pedestal for a steel water tank, creating a distinctive fortress like appearance. It was originally designed to provide water not only for the house but also for a watering trough used for his own stock and visiting cattle and horses from the Vail Ranch Holdings. It is one of the best preserved water towers in Riverside County.
David A. Brown, who was born in 1918 and died in 1993, was a tireless promoter of Wildomar and its special virtues. As late as 1955 the Browns were planting and harvesting some of over 1200 acres in Wildomar. He was one of the founders of the Wildomar Interest League, the precursor to other community organizations in Wildomar. Dave was the Zone 7 Flood Control Commissioner. Always looking out for his neighbors, he was a member of Radio Amateur Emergency Civil Services and Volunteers in Prevention Radio Amateurs Program. He joined the Wildomar Chamber of Commerce in 1990 and was known as the Wildomar HIstorian. His gravestone includes the words “Mr. Wildomar”. He was honored by having the David A. Brown middle school named after him.
In the future, when it is restored and in its permanent location, the Wildomar Historical Society hopes to use the house and water tower for a museum, education center, and museum store.
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