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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Flanagan Ranch 2012 - Carneros, Napa, CA - Part 2

Just a few months ago on a beautiful June day, my mom and I met a college professor and his wife in downtown Napa.   He's interested in he Flanagan Letter Collection as a few other professors have been in the past.  A true guru of history, he is fascinated by the letters that connected he Flanagan's of Termonfechin, Ireland to their relatives halfway around the world in Australia and New Zealand to Napa, California.

The most unique attribute of the letter collection is that in several cases both sides of the correspondence are included.  That is a story in and of itself.  The fact that the letters survive in Ireland is even more amazing as many of them originated and reference the ranch in Napa.  In fact, some of the letters from Ireland to Napa, ended up back in Ireland.

On this June day, we met and went to the cemetery and visited two old Flanagan homes in town.  We followed that up with a visit to the Flanagan Ranch in Carneros.  Now, my family is never too sure what the condition of the house will be like when we stop by.  The house gets older and more dilapidated by the day.  Even the Napa County Landmarks has included it on its "watch list" for over 10 years.

As we turned left off the highway and headed down the gravel driveway toward the house that sits up on a bit of a knoll surrounded by vineyard and immediately by some trees, my mom said that something looked different.  From a distance it looked like the trees had been thinned out and the house had been painted.  Those were both true statements but there was much more.

In 2008, I visited the property and it looked like this:




Now, it looks like this as of June 2012:



What a transformation!  It is not quite finished, of course.  The addition that was added with the garage has been removed from the back of the house.  That is a real plus as it probably should have never been there.  The house is undergoing a renovation for sure.

Based on the appearance, each side of the house now has a staircase instead of just one up to the front door.  Porches have been added to each side too.   It looks pretty interesting.  You can tell that they are trying to capitalize on the views.  The interior is being renovated to a light and bright interior.  The hardwood floors are original along with the staircase.   The light fixtures seem to be in keeping with the age of the home but most appear brand new.

video


Is the renovation in keeping with history of the house?  I suppose so.  I could not find anything that indicates that the house is a historical landmark.  It is over 100 years old.  Considering that the house was in such poor shape, I think that this reconstruction is a great tribute.  I am just happy that it is back to life!

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