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Listing No. 2749

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1870 Italianate

Presidents Hill
Monterey, California 93940

Historic Old Town Monterey, CA

Impressive street level
Impressive street level
Listed on the Registry of Historic places in the Library of Congress and granted a Mills Act Status with the City of Monterey with a substantial annual property tax savings, call for more details
Beautiful 1870 Victorian with separate Guest house over looking Monterey Bay
Scroll down below the map for more information
Bay Views
Bay Views
Bay views from the front porch, Master Bedroom Balcony and the Guest studio.
Formal Dining Room with Crystal Chandlelier
Formal Dining Room with Crystal Chandlelier
Guest Bedroom
Guest Bedroom
Parlor with 11 foot ceilings
Parlor with 11 foot ceilings
Large Chefs Kitchen with Chambers Range
Large Chefs Kitchen with Chambers Range
Master Bedroom
Master Bedroom
Carerra Marble Shower
Carerra Marble Shower
Private Courtyard
Private Courtyard
The Finch Family Circa 1904
The Finch Family Circa 1904
2 Stories
Bedrooms 3
Full Baths 2
Half Baths 2
Heated Sq. Ft. 2,500
Lot Size 75x100


  • Dining room
  • Entry Hall
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry Room
  • Living room
  • 2 Car Garage
  • Driveway - Paved
  • Fenced Yard
  • Fresh paint
  • Garden
  • Gated Entry
  • Guest House
  • Patio
  • Pond
  • Porch
  • Restored exterior
  • Workshop
  • Fireplaces
  • Grand staircase
  • Cedar Shake Roof
  • Walk-In Closet(s)
  • Wood floors
  • City sewer
  • City water supply
  • Dishwasher
  • Disposal
  • Gas heating
  • Range
  • Refrigerator
  • Water Heater - Gas
  • Widow's Walk
  • Bay Views
  • Guest House
  • Stained Glass
  • Tandem Garage

No Contact Information.

This listing is archived and is not for sale.

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Important details of this home

The historic James W. Finch house, originally built in 1870 and on the National Register of Historic places. The home is also listed under the Mills Act and has a significant tax benefit that is transferable upon sale of the property. The current owners have preserved and updated this distinguished Monterey home high above Old Town Monterey. The home has an important past in the history of Old Monterey and will continue for many years to come.

With unbelievable Bay and Mountain views you will sit in the front porch swing and watch the sail boats and activity on the bay. The main home features 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths that have been recently updated with new tile and Carrera marble of the era. Upon entering the foyer you will take notice of the period wall paper and wood banister staircase. Continue on and you enter the large parlor with the original iron fireplace front and 11 foot ceilings. The formal dining room offers bay views and a beautiful antique cut crystal chandelier. The property has a two car tandem garage built to resemble a period out building, with a 630 square foot upstairs studio with a half bath.

Garage & Guest Quarters

The addition of a 2 car tandem garage was designed to resemble a period “out building” or carriage house. This was a welcome addition to the property, with plenty of off street parking in the garage and driveway area and area for a workshop. Above the garage is a 630 square foot studio with a half bath and extra storage. Finished in a rustic motif, the unit is ideal for overnight guests, a possible office or an artist studio. You will enjoy the private deck overlooking the patio garden and a partial bay view. The carriage house is not designated historic and does not qualify for historic benefits.

Historic Overview

James William Finch was born in Connecticut in 1830. He came to California in 1854, opening a fruit store in Monterey. In 1859 his brother Charles and his mother Julia Finch joined him and together for about a year they operated the Washington Hotel. In 1860 the family moved to Jamesburg in the upper Carmel Valley to raise horses, which were sold to the Union Army as remounts. James was attacked and wounded by Indians on the way to deliver horses in Salt Lake City. There he spent several years recovering among the Saints, establishing a business and making many friends before returning to Monterey.

The house on Monroe street was constructed in 1870 by James and his brother Charles for their mother. The original parcel of land was 500 x 500 just over 5 acres which eventually was sold off in subdivided lots. After Julia Finch’s death in 1881, James and his bride Ellen Louise O’Neill-Finch occupied the home. Their only child, Alma was born in the house in 1884. Ellen’s father, Major John O’Neill an early Monterey Mayor spent his last year with his daughter and her husband in the house. The Finch’s were regular participants in live productions at the First Theater. Many noted artists and thespians were noted for attending elaborate parties at the Finch home. At one time the artists Charles Rollo Peters resided in a cottage on the property before moving to his own parcel of land now known as “Peters Gate”. Recently a Charles Rollo Peters painting of the home was on display at the Monterey Museum of art.

In the 1920’s Alma and her husband, Monterey Barber Otto Fleischer remodeled the interior of the home into three apartments and they occupied one. Alma maintained the house after her husbands death in 1931, and until her own passing in 1970. Spring 1973 Mr. and Mrs. Conrad and Nancy Olsen purchased the home in it’s then poor condition. The new city zoning codes would have allowed 23 apartments upon the demolition of the home. The Olsen’s spent over a year searching for information and found much of the history in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. With much diligence and the work of the Olsen’s they undertook the massive renovation of the Finch home. The current owners Mr. and Mrs. Jeff and Joyce Haferman immediately fell in love with the property and purchased the home in 1997. Overlooking the Monterey Bay, the home is walking distance to the downtown farmers market and local events. The Haferman’s have enjoyed the last ten years maintaining as well as updating this beautiful piece of history for future generations.

Interior Renovation

The interior underwent an extensive renovation in the mid 1970’s when the Olsen’s
purchased the home from the estate of Alma Finch Fleischer. Much of the original trim and details were intact and just needed to be refinished. At this time the Olsen’s installed forced air heat, new electrical and plumbing, all modern conveniences for the modern world, but somewhat lacking in the past. The cement foundation was installed along with new floor joists and supports to strengthen the sub-floor.
Thousands of hours of painting, refinishing and hard work have gone into repairing windows, doors etc. to maintain the integrity of this historic home. Just recently all three bathrooms received new vintage tile flooring along with an oversized Carrera marble shower and tub surround. The laundry room floor has been retiled and painted and is a generous size room. The downstairs bedrooms do not have hanging closets, most homes of this period would have an armoire for your clothing.
The home has been decorated partially for the period and very personalized. You can expand on the decoration or tailor it to your liking. This is a unique property that many people only dream of enjoying. Make it your turn to add to the history of the Finch Home

Archived in September, 2012

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Listing No. 2749

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