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Jackson, California

The House is a very pure example of the Gothic Revival style of house popular in this country between 1840 and 1860. When people talk about a “Victorian” the term can have several meanings. Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901, and Gothic Revival, along with Italianate, were the earliest of the Victorian styles. The house across the street, the Briggs house, is not, strictly speaking, a Victorian, even though it was built in the Victorian era.

The Greek revival style actually pre-dates the Victorian era, even though the house doesn't. On the other side of the house, the 1897 Queen Anne cottage is the last Victorian style. They were theoretically built to look like buildings in the early 18th century, when Queen Ann ruled. The Greek Revival was the last of the classical revival styles and the Gothic revival was one of the first of the romantic revival styles.

The Gothic Revival was inspired by the medieval period that lasted in Europe between the 13th and 17th centuries. It was popularized by the Gothic romance novels of Sir Walter Scott and made available to builders in this country at mid century through the plan books of Alexander Jackson Downing and Andrew Jackson Davis. Many churches are even now built in this style.

Examples of the Gothic Revival style in the gold country (or California) are relatively few. This house is lumped into a category called carpenter gothic, because it.s made of wood instead of brick or stone. This variation of carpenter gothic is sometimes called castellated, because it has castellations or battlements , in this case over the porch and the two bays. In the East Coast the style is called Hudson River Gothic, the Hudson River Valley being the place where the style is best known. The house was built by Charles L. Parish, architect, builder, entrepreneur and artist.

When it was built there were three houses already on Pitt Street: the 1854 Briggs house, the 1856 kay house and the 1856 house on the corner of Bright and Pitt. These three houses all remain, making this one of the oldest areas in Amador County.

The houae was won in a raffle* in 1861 by Amador County.s second sheriff, Dr. William J. Paugh. The first sheriff, Sheriff Phoenix, was shot and killed in the Rancheria Massacre of 1855 after serving less than a year.

The house was sold in 1870 to George Snowden Andrews, Wells Fargo agent and inventor, and was home to Superior Court Judge George Moore who met an untimely end in the back parlor. It was owned by two superior court judges, 3 County clerks, three school teachers, 2 tax assessors, a postmaster and several mine owners. Walter and Margaret Voss bought the house in 1940. Margaret, a school teacher, stayed in the house after Walter died in 1957. She lived until she passed away at age 102 in 2001.

Special thanks to Jerry and Jeanette Chaix for their photo's and information on this beautiful home. You can see more extensive information Here


Information, photographs courtesy of the Amador County Archives, The Historical Marker Database, and the Chronicling America Database