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New owner sought for historic Turlock home
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The big red house is one of five Turlock homes that remain standing after more than 100 years. It was originally built at E. Olive Avenue and Palm Street. - photo by Photo Contributed

One of the oldest houses still standing in Turlock is being readied to pass into the hands of a new owner.

The big red house, as it has been called, is located at 1224 Waldorf Drive and is up for sale as the current owner, Brian Parks, is moving out of state.

“This is one of five remaining homes in Turlock that is over 100 years old,” Parks said. “It’s been a very special place for us over the years, but it’s time for someone else to enjoy it.”

The house was not originally erected on Waldorf, but rather was a fixture of the downtown Turlock area for close to seven decades. It originally sat at the corner of E. Olive Avenue and Palm Street and its relocation was one of the largest house moving projects Turlock had ever seen.

The house was built circa 1904 for the William Thornburg family, which used redwood from their lumber mills to construct the Dutch Colonial home.

Parks’ parents moved into the home in 1958, renting it from the owner Ruby Winans Shaw. In 1971 the property was sold for commercial development and the house was going to be torn down until the Parks decided to buy it and move it to a new lot.

“It’s surprising, but the cost of purchasing the home, the new lot and the moving was a lot less than what it takes to buy a car now,” Parks said.

The home was moved in one piece with utility workers raising the electric wires as it made its slow progression.

“My brothers and sisters were going to school at Turlock High School and they could look out the windows and see their house going by,” Parks said.

Once settled into its new spot, Parks’ father, Robert Parks, began the task of refurbishing the home.

“For the first two years after the move the house made all kinds of noise,” Parks said. “It was creak and pop and plaster would fall off as it settled. It became a project that my father took on over the years. It was a labor of love.”

The two-story home is just over 2,100 square feet with three bedrooms and two baths. It also has a patio with salvaged pillars from the original Crane home.

The home will be open for an open house tour from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.