Some of Santa Rosa's most elegant and prestigious turn of the century homes were built on McDonald Avenue. Around 1870, Colonel Mark L. McDonald purchased a sizeable amount of acreage, developed the land and homes were built to order. The McDonald Mansion (a.k.a. Mableton Mansion) was a summer home built for the Colonel and his wife, Ralphine.
The neighborhood is rich in historical architecture and over the years a few movies have been filmed on McDonald Avenue. A Walt Disney movie named "Pollyanna," starring Haley Mills was filmed at the McDonald Mansion. Alfred Hitchcock took an interest in the Historic McDonald District, filming "Shadow of a Doubt." as well as Wes Cravens, who filmed, "Scream" on this street. The neighbors have some interesting stories to tell about the Hollywood days.
Today the Mableton mansion is under restoration, referencing back to plans and photos of the original design. An extension to the building has been added in the back and new landscaped gardens to the front.
The Historic McDonald District attracts tourists, particularly during the holidays and seasonal changes. They can be seen slowly driving up and down the wide, tree lined street admiring these stately homes. It's also an active walking neighborhood with tourists and locals jogging, bicycling and walking their dogs.
From time to time, homes in this neighborhood are put on the market for sale. When they become available to purchase, they will be added to my blog. Check back for more articles on the Neighborhoods in Santa Rosa.