HISTORY & FEATURES
Neely Mansion – 1894
The Neely farm consisted of over 200 acres and was a social center for the area due to a nearby ferry-crossing on the river. The Neely family lived in the mansion for only a few years before leasing the farm to Swiss dairy farmers. Through the years, many tenants leased the farm from the Neely family. The house was occupied by Japanese dairy farmers and then by Filipino vegetable and berry farmers.
Built in a classic revival style, the mansion featured three porches decorated with turned posts and curving corner brackets. A solitary round window on the third floor overlooked the spacious front yard. Gracefully carved ridge boards decorated the mansion’s roof peaks. The surrounding acres were planted in corn, green beans, rhubarb, raspberries and strawberries. The orchard featured apple, pear and cherry trees.
By the 1950’s the mansion was no longer used as a primary residence. It fell into terrible disrepair after years of neglect. The restoration process began in the late 1970’s when concerned citizens vowed to save the historic building for future generations to enjoy.
The Neely Mansion Association, a nonprofit, volunteer historical society, now owns the mansion. Restoration is still taking place, as feature by feature, the mansion is brought back to its former glory.
The two story mansion was built of balloon frame construction, using long boards which vertically span both stories. The second floor is “hung” midway from these boards. The mansion has approximately 2.600 square feet of useable space on the two floors. All the original walls were lath and plaster. The roof is cedar shake with two brick chimneys. A large attic with fir flooring lies under the hipped roof.
Built in Victorian classic revival style, the mansion features a variety of “gingerbread trim” including swags, brackets and teardrop pieces. The porches and balcony are decorated with turned posts and curving corner brackets. A solitary round window is surrounded by diamond shaped shingles above the front balcony. Gracefully carved ridge boards once decorated the mansion’s roof peaks.
General Restoration Features:
While the exterior of the mansion was generally intact, the interior of the house was nearly gutted throughout. All original pieces were saved and restored, including wainscoting, wood trim and ceiling medallions. Where needed, wood trim pieces were replicated to match the originals. New fir floors replaced plywood on the first floor. New walls of sheetrock replaced missing and broken plaster. An interior designer assisted in coordinating the house interiors in appropriate 1890’s period colors and wall finishes. All new mechanical systems, such as heating, plumbing and electrical, have been installed in the mansion.
Art by Matt Harpold