The Camron-Stanford House is one of the remaining prestigious 19th century mansions that encircled Lake Merritt. Built in 1876, it was once a private residence of some of the distinguished personalities in the city of Oakland, California. This Italianate Victorian building was originally built by Dr. Samuel Merritt to further solidify downtown Oakland?s developmental plan.
Based on the 1877 city tax records, Dr. Merritt transferred the title of the house and lot to Mrs. Alice Camron, hence the procurement was by means of bequest. The Camron family became the first recorded dwellers of the house.
For three years, the Camrons leased the house to David Hewes. After David wed his first wife, Matilda, they had a Grand Tour around Europe for their honeymoon. The Camron-Stanford House of today showcases some of the artifacts, paintings, and sculptures the couple brought together during that tour. These works of art are carefully displayed in the house?s Period Rooms.
In 1882, Leland Stanford?s business partner and brother, Josiah Stanford and his wife bought the house. The Stanford couple holds the record of longest residency, twenty-three years to be exact. However, they only spent half of their time in Oakland, for they need to constantly visit their ranch in the eastern part of Fremont. It was in this lush California city that they founded Stanford Brothers Winery, which was later renamed as Weibel Winery.
Helen Stanford sold the house to John and Terrilla Wright. John was a sea captain and partly-owned the first refrigerated container ship. It was due to this occupation that the Wrights only remained in the house for a short period of time. They later decided to sell the house to the city government of Oakland.
The city of Oakland made Lakeside Park on the early years of the 20th century in order to make Lake Merritt accessible to the public. All the private houses encircling the lake were condemned with the exception of the Camron-Stanford House. The city government later remodeled the house to become the Oakland Public Museum of today.