The Manor was built in the late 1800’s. We have still yet been able to find the exact build date for the structure that stands today or what stood prior to it, but we will continue to hunt. The house that we pretty much know today shows up on the Sanborn map of 1898 and through tax records we are able to guesstimate the year it was built.
The lot is on the west side of Mill Street in an area that was referred to as Boston Ravine and on the south side of the property is Rhode Island Ravine. This area was among the first to be settled for Grass Valley. Today, Rhode Island Ravine is a seasonal creek that runs alongside the house. In the 1800’s, the border property’s owners were Scott, Riley and Harris. Ford owned the lot across the street on Mill.
Today the Manor sits on the corner of Mill & Rhode Island Streets. Back then Rhode Island was not a city street, it was a private driveway (an alley). Boy, wouldn’t that be nice today.
In 1878, the Manor property was owned by a Mrs. Ellen Sullivan. She had owned this piece of property for many year which was a bit rare; not many women owned property back then. The total value for the property was $50 and her tax was 85 cents. When Mrs. Sullivan passed, away the property was purchased by John Tierney, a mine owner from Ireland. It stayed in the family for a very long time and it is no surprise to us that a mining family would purchase this parcel. The North Star Mine is but a few 100 yards away and Grass Valley is full of mining families. What we discovered about this family is rather cool and will be shared in detail soon (still putting the facts together).
The family soon began adding assets to the homestead. A horse, a wagon, a sewing machine, and two milk cows increased their tax dollars to $5.03 by 1880. John Tierney had 8 children, not an uncommon number for back then. Kids were required to work at a very young age around the homestead. Through tax records we learned that the property would soon get the “farm” label. We think this is kind of ironic. Today you can find that the entire front yard is now our own personal farm.
We do know the property changed hands several times and that house was renovated throughout the years. Tracing down what exactly stood at what time is a ton of work and we will be posting what we discover, as well as more about the Tierney family as soon as we can.
We would love to track down current Tierney family members who might have old photos. Now that would be a cool addition to our history of the old lady.
Watch for more to come.