“Temelec Carriage House” is part of Drawing Sonoma, a collection of ink and vine-charcoal drawings of historic sites by Barbara White Perry, Sonoma, California. © 2013. Barbara White Perry. All rights reserved.
Barbara White Perry
Captain Granville Perry Swift laid the cornerstone for Temelec Hall in 1858. A stone wall, part of which is still along Temelec Hall, went all the way from the mansion to the carriage house and was lined with trees. Those trees continued out toward the bay (some are still living along Watmaugh Road near Broadway intersection) to help guide visitors once off the boat from San Francisco to Temelec.
The barn is built of fieldstone, a two-story with a dovecote on top and a solid stone ramp up the second story on the west end. Carriages and buggies could then be stored on the second floor with horses on the first. Captain Swift and his family lost the property in 1863.
When Colonel William Kissane Rogers owned Temelec (1865 to 1892) he operated vineyards and a successful wine business. His winery produced 25,000 gallons of wine and 800 gallons of brandy. Rogers removed the driveway ramp and added a barn to the carriage house. Rogers lost Temelec in 1893; it was empty for many years and was known as the Haunted Farm.
In 1915, Lolita Schweitzer, a tobacco heiress, bought Temelec with 268 acres and restored the mansion. She married Cobby Coblentz, a close friend of William Randolph Hearst. Hearst gave Cobby and Lolita antique European doors as a wedding gift. The doors were installed in the east front of the carriage house, where they remain today.
Temelec’s barn has a long, active history. Although its main use today is storage, it stands with a quiet grace as a reminder of the past.
(This article was first published in the Sonoma Sun)