Office Building History
It's hard to imagine having the heart, stamina and will to farm entirely by mule power and still dig a basement for a home with only a baker scraper, mule and
a pick.... but that's exactly what Mr. Andrew J. Schroepfer did when he purchased "this old house" in 1940 and moved it to it's present location.
We've been asked on numerous occasions about the history of our restored office, and still marvel at the story ourselves, so we'd like to share it with you, as
told to us.
The house was originally built in the late 1800's by the first circuit court judge of Tulare County. It was located at 705 Church St., at the corner of
Church and First Streets, (the corner of the Rainbow Bread Bakery). The house remained there until 1940 when it was purchased by Mr. Andrew J. Schroepfer
with the intent of moving it to the current location north of Visalia on Highway 63. He bought the house from an estate sale in a very dilapidated condition
and moved it with horse and wagon. During the move the house became lodged on the St. John's River Bridge and stalled traffic for a full 3 days before
continuing with the move. Once at our location it was set upon the foundation hole that was dug with mules and scrapers.
Mr. Schroepfer never lived in the house, but made his "home away from home" under the house in the basement he, with the help of his trusty mule, dug
themselves. It was vented with a well casing pipe where he cooked his meals. That basement still exists today.
The home was then sold to Virgil and Lonnie Rodgers who began restoration on the home back in the 1970's. Ken Macklin, owning the surrounding three sides
of the property, had the opportunity to purchase the home in 1996. At that time the home was converted and expanded to fit the needs of H.R. Macklin &
Sons, Inc. It still contains the water closet toilets and original wood trim and doors that existed in the 1800's. The renovation was done to maintain
as much of the original house as possible. It is surrounded by large pine and shade trees planted by Mr. Schroepfer in the early 1940's on approximately 2
acres of ground.