Mini Yreka Tour by Samantha
I grew up with a realtor. When I was a kid growing up in small town Yreka, CA there were certain streets and houses that I always loved, I’ve wondered before if that’s normal. Most kids probably don’t have favorite like these and you’re probably thinking that I must have lived an impoverished life to favor such things but that isn’t the case. In actuality, I think, this propensity for real estate ogling is due to my mom being a broker. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’ve been in the car with my mom when she’s seen a listed house and decided she had to see if it was vacant and (depending on the answer to that) walk around the property looking in windows THEN look it up. She did this up and down a couple states a least. When I was younger I was sure we were going to be arrested for her lookiloo-ness. As an adult I now do this to my kids — but I digress. This upbringing was happy and it was also cool to get to see empty houses and beautiful neighborhoods because of her job.
Take a walk with me and I’ll show you the parts of Yreka that I love.
This is where I grew up, Marker A on the map above. Wetzel Way. Always a nice quiet street and if you look at that picture you’ll see a big front living room window that has a perfect unobstructed view of Mt. Shasta. If you turn down the street to the South you’ll see the Berean Church. A lot of years were spent playing on those grounds without ever actually attending the church. It’s a nice neighborhood and I love it. I learned to ride my bike on this street, walked my first dog, trick-or-treated as a child and then with my own children.
Now on to one of my favorite streets in town: Arlene Court - Marker B. Why is this a favorite? Because I loved the houses at the end of the lane (Marker C). Those houses were so beautiful to 9 year old me and they gave full sized candy bars at Halloween. I still love this street, I still go down it just because.
When you leave Arlene Court you’ll go North on Dewitt. If you turn onto Miner Street you’re going to pass my favorite park. Miner Street Park is full of trees and every summer they do concerts on the open baseball diamond area. People bring wine and beer, snacks and chairs and sit out in groups listening and dancing as a community. The play equipment in the area where I played as a kid is run down but they put in brand new colorful equipment for kids above the diamond. Be careful on this street during sports events and concerts, cars line both sides of the road and tiny humans can be hard to see until they are running right in front of you. I have stories of my own of crashing bikes, running kids, slides and swings. It’s a beautiful park. On the map it’s called “Yreka Park” — It’s wrong. It’ll always be Miner Street Park, silly google.
Off Miner is Oregon street and my favorite house. It’s called the HB Gillis House — I didn’t know that as a kid I just knew that it looked like a princess castle. My mom being a realtor means I got to see the inside of it once when I was a kid and it was for sale. Rumor is that it’s haunted, I don’t know anything about that but I do know that there’s a library to the right when you first walk in that little me loved and a kitchen in the back that need some updating. Upstairs was a ballroom and I twirled. It was spectacular and special and I always swore I’d buy it one day. (I haven’t, and probably never will but maybe someone who is a Ghost Whisperer can)
Next on our stop is a house I always felt was so out of place in our little hamlet. Just down the road from the Gillis House is this columned grecian looking monolith. It sits on a corner king of its domain but always looking sort of displaced to me. It’s very pretty, don’t get me wrong, but out of sorts from the more craftsman styled homes nearby. But then again no one ever said being unique was a bad thing, it does make one stop and take notice, doesn’t it?
Further down Oregon street we have the Holiday house and perfect place to pause this tour. I lived in Yreka my whole life and have never met the owners of this house but I have stopped and stared in awe every holiday season at their displays. Christmas time their lights are timed with music and it is a sight to see. If you are in the neighborhood at Christmas or Halloween you HAVE to go here. It’s necessary. They actually used to shut down the street around this house because of the crowds and festivities.
If they ever sell this house I feel bad for the new owners — people will be stopping outside it every Christmas and trying to come in for the haunted house every Halloween. I guess no matter who has this house that traditional will just have to continue so the current owners will have to keep it forever.
So that’s all from me. I hope you enjoyed this little tour. I included google maps images with the addresses as often as I could so you could find these places yourself or at least have an accurate unaltered view of just how pretty these homes are and the spaces they inhabit. Oregon street is busy and fast with the High School just down the way so keep that in mind if you plan on sight seeing. Miner Street Park has on-street parking all around it and a parking lot to the East. Arlene and Wetzel are both calm quiet streets so please watch for tiny humans and people with pets meandering about.