Known on the California and Sonoma County Landmarks Registry as the John Miller House, this historic Queen Anne Victorian was built in 1902. Miller was a prominent fruit grower, packer and dehydrator in the early 1900s. He was also one of the first to make a commercial business of marketing dehydrated fruit. Among Miller's claims to fame is that he was the first provider to the U.S. Military of dehydrated foods. Known as K-rations during WW I and MREs today, Miller was cited by the military for "feeding the troops during WW I". (1) Miller and his wife were, like many prominent citizens of the community, anxious to furnish their home lavishly. The home is reputed to be the first in Healdsburg with two bathrooms, with indoor plumbing upstairs and downstairs.
The noted horticulturist, Luther Burbank, was a good friend and assisted in the design and development of the original landscape at the front of the home, some of which remains today. The large cedar, cypress, and redwood heritage trees were planted by Burbank over 100 years ago. The lush grounds have been accented with rose bushes and numerous flowering shrubs. The same archaeological report from Sonoma State University indicates that some of the first plantings of some of Burbank's new species were planted on the Miller property. Sadly, the location and botanical name of the plants were never recorded. It is unknown if they remain on the property today.
The home remained in the Miller family until the late 1930s and was a private residence until the early 1980s when it became a Bed and Breakfast. The inn has undergone extensive restoration over the years. Beautiful hand-silk screened period wall and ceiling papers accent the spacious common areas and some guest rooms. The papers are produced by Bradbury & Bradbury of Benicia, CA and are based on designs of William Morris, a prominent textile designer of the mid- to late 1800s.
The formal, yet welcoming rooms include a spacious parlor with fireplace—the perfect place to enjoy the morning paper or a board game on a quiet afternoon. The spacious dining room that seats up to 14 showcases original wainscoting and built-in china cabinet and bench. The large antique table is where guests dine on Calderwood's signature gourmet breakfasts. The covered front porch with its antique wicker furniture and lacquered floor beckons you to enjoy the lush grounds, review the activities of your day or curl up with a good book. The porch is often used by local wineries who frequently co-host our complimentary evening wine hour. All seven guest rooms have private baths. Each room is decorated differently to incorporate an extensive collection of beautiful, yet comfortable period antiques.
Ken and Diane Wilson are the new owners of the Calderwood Inn as of July, 2009. The Innkeeper will gladly help you with your reservations. We look forward to seeing you soon.
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1) 2006 Sonoma State University Archeology Department study of the property.