Oceanside CA— After years of painstaking restoration work and fundraising efforts by volunteers with the Friends of Heritage Park, the Payne-Johansen House was opened up for tours after a ribbon cutting ceremony at Heritage Park on Sunday. The event took place during the ‘1886 Heritage House Tea’ fundraiser which featured a period fashion show and Kir Quincy tea from Pannikin.
The classic cottage was originally built in 1886 on Cleveland Street and at one point, served as the local post office. Over the years the cottage saw many remodels and modifications with four different types of flooring prior to the restoration effort that began in 2014.
The ambitious restoration returned the interior to the original time period including fixtures and furnishings. “This was my first ever attempt at re-upholstery,” said Pat Sutton as she pointed at an “Empire Couch” in the entry way of the home. The couch, from the time period of Abraham Lincoln, had a horse hair cover originally. “It’s the one thing I am most proud of. My husband, Greg, and I painted this place and put up all the paper but this really is Terry Larson’s vision.”
“There were a lot of things on display but nothing was really properly displayed, explained Terry Ann Larson, City of Oceanside Park Liaison. “There was no paint we could copy, no paper we could copy for reference. The place was used for so many purposes and divided up. Now, everything here is geared towards education. We decided because the house had multiple purposes, we would go ahead and keep the concept. We kept the milliner and seamstress because a lot of people would ask what the clothing was like in that time period. There is no better way to answer the questions.”
Mrs. Larson said they are striving for a museum quality experience when people visit. “Hearing people’s reaction to this is very exciting. I hope more people will find their way to the park.”
Heritage Park, 220 Peyri Road, was developed, by the City of Oceanside, for the Bi-centennial of America celebration in 1976. Tours of the historic buildings are available on Wednesdays and Saturdays.