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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

942 Ramona Street

942 Ramona Inventory photo 942 Ramona
Inventory photo Photo taken May 8, 2013

 

The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1984:

Physical appearance:   A severe two-story house with minimal stylistic gestures of fish-scale shingle pattern in the gable above the bay window. It is nearly a twin to 948 Ramona Street. The porch has been enclosed.

Significance:  A severe example of the vernacular interpretation of Queen Anne style. Apparently it and its near–twin neighbor at 948 Ramona (as well as its other neighbor, originally the Henry E. Pratt house at 934 Ramona) were unoccupied for a short time, then sold to their first owners in 1906. Elisha and Arthur Dickinson, lumbermen, acquired the house at 943 Ramona and occupied it until 1909.

It then became the home of Mrs. Rachel Couch and her son William. Mrs. Couch was the widow of Capt. Thomas Couch. Both were natives of Wales. She was brought as a child to California and, in 1873, married Couch, one of the Cornish miners drawn to the Far Western mines in Montana and California. After his death in 1902, she moved from San Francisco to Palo Alto. One of her sons, E. J. Couch, established Palo Alto's first steam laundry about 1898, but later left to go into farming in the Sacramento Valley.

William Couch, trained as an engineer, died in France in 1917 while serving with the American Expeditionary Force. The next owner was Mrs. Katherine Hibasco (to 1961) and her children; she was a native of Hungary. Since 1961 the house has been divided and rented as an apartment building. Melvyn and Saisie Pratt were the owners in 1978 when the Inventory was created. Mel Pratt was interviewed in 1985.

 

map
Location map

This house was built in 1904 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The builder was A. W. Caulkins. The property measures 37.50 by 112.50 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 12/30/04, 11/26/06, 10/10/18, 2/24/40, 10/19/51; Dallas Wood, History of Palo Alto, 248; interview 1985, Melvyn Pratt

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