Woodland’s Gable Mansion is too good to be true, or perhaps just too much to be true.
There are times when the six bed, six bath, 11,200 square foot circa 1885 Victorian at 659 First Street in Yolo County is so ostentatious that it tips the scales into hubris, like with the weird pink carpets in the sitting room.
But by and large the landmark home’s unabashed use of color, complicated wallpapers, overwrought stained glass, soaring skylights, baroque woodwork, and elaborate ceilings can only provoke observers into an ultimate sense of surrender to its aesthetics.
The Gable Mansion’s name comes not by way of its spectacular centerpiece roof gable but rather its original owner, Yolo County cattle rancher Amos Gable, one of 14 children born to Pennsylvania farmers according to the history site Cal Explornia, who built the place alongside his business partner, brother Harvey Gable.
The original construction price was $36,000—about $895,000 in today’s currency. The plaque marking the Gable Mansion as a California landmark dubs it “an outstanding example of 19th-century Victorian Italianate architecture, one of the last of its style, size, and proportion in California.”
Truth be known, much of what we see of the mansion today is not the work of the Gables but instead of the most recent owners, Starr and Jeff Barrow, who bought the place in 1997 for less than $338,000 (about $530,000 after inflation).
The Daily Democrat News writes that the pair put considerable resources into fixing broken down or unfinished parts of the mansion, and the stained glass work is apparently Starr Barrow’s own.
Now the Barrow burrow is on the market asking $3.85 million, a price hike of nearly 10,600 percent since the days of the Gable brothers. It’d take a lot of cattle to raise that sum, but presumably someone will manage.
- 659 First Street, Woodland
- Gable Mansion [Cal Explornia]
- California Landmark 864
- Gable Mansion Poster Home [Daily Democrat]