The History of the Casa De Kitty House

This is an attempt to document the history of the house that is now the home of Casa De Kitty.

  • 1915 – 1980  – Built by Milton Elijah and Roberta A Arner – (Source- Vallejo City Directory – 1915)
    1920 Census Sheet - Vallejo CAAbout Milton (Arner Geneology site entry – Arner (Doctor) Milton Elijah Arner, born 10 October 1876(36)(40); died 20 May 1947 at Vallejo, Solano, California(36); married first 22 May 1900 in Sedgwick County, Kansas (Book H, page 324) to Roberta Alice Hadley who was born 27 October 1874 at Yolo, Yolo, California. He was a dentist. He registered for the WWI Draft at Fairfield, Solano, California. 1900 Census: Milton Arner, page 177, visit 397/419, Fairbury (North Ward), Jefferson, Nebraska. 1920 Census: Milton E. Arner, page 165, visit 269/271, Vallejo (5th Precinct), Solano, California. 1930 Census: Milton Arner, page 102, visit 030/030, Vallejo city, Solano, California. No children with them in 1920 or 1930.Arner, Milton Elijah . S F  – graduated from the University of California College of Dentistry in 1905.Milton was married to Ann M after Roberta died in 1938. Milton E Arner died on May 20, 1947 in a trajic fishing accident at Lake Madigan in Vallejo.   According to a report in the vallejo Times Herald, Milton was fishing on the first day of the season when he slipped and fell.  Though he was pulled from the water right away, the friends with him were unable to revive him.1947 – 1980 – Ann M. Arner was the owner of the house at this time, and we belive that she rented it out some during this time.   Through online research I found a death listing for Ann at around the correct age.
  • ARNER, ANN                        Born: Feb 26, 1888                 Died:  Nov 0117, 1978 
    Last residence:  94590 (Vallejo, Solano, CA) So it would seem that the house went into probate after Ann’s death, and then was sold in 1980 to the Hines’.  I’ll do some more research into their deaths.   I’ve found an obit listing for Ann in the November 19th 1978 edition of the Vallejo Times Herald that lists her death as a heart attack.  She died here in the house.

    During Ann’s tenure at the the house it underwent some changes to it’s original floor plan.  At some point the porte-cochère on the west front-side of the house was enclosed and a floor added to the same level as the rest of the house.   We’ve found architectural evidence under this front sunroom to show that this was an orignial feature of the house.  Also, the roof supports this assumption because it’s not been altered, other than to enclose it with the ceiling in the room.  The original steps leading from the front porch to the porte-cochère are still there, as is the concrete pad that was part of it.  This is also when the french doors from the library into the sunroom was added.  We can date these changes to the early times of the house, because of a few signs:

    • The walls in the sunroom are covered in a similar plaster to the rest of the house.
    • The floors underneath the hardwoods (as seen from below) are very similar to the rest of the house, in that they are old-growth douglas fir.
    • The wiring in the sunroom is old two-wire cloth-coverd conduit that was used in the late 30s through the 40s.  The rest of the house primarily had knob-and-tube wiring throughout. 
  • 1980 – 1986 – Sold by Ann M. Arner’s Estate to Philip R & Tina M Hines.   
    They were both physicians.  According to my neighbor’s niece, Yvonne(who used to own in Katie and Nathan’s house) Philip Hines was the one who stripped a lot of the wood work for us.  She also said that he was very proud of the house and did a lot of work to restore it – including stripping all the wood work. When the Richters came for a visit, they let us know that they bought the house from the Hines’ as part of a divorce.  According to Jack, when he and Elaine came to meet the Hines’ and see the house, “you could cut the tension in the air with a knife.”   We had been told that Philip died of cancer by Yvonne.

    It’s during the time that the Hine’s owned the house that some major repairs were done.  Few things that were done by them include, new foundation cap on the

  • 1986 – 1997 – John and Elaine Richter
    The Richter’s moved into the house, and according to Solano County Registrar’s office, they pulled a building permit to do work on the kitchen a few years into their stay (in 1989) .  They were the ones who upgraded the kitchen to the late 1980s vintage.  At first I assumed that it was that remodle that moved the stove on the other side of the kitchen instead of the stove nook that was designed for it.  I’ve since come to find out that they actually had a wedgewood with wood burner in the stove nook just like we do. They were also the ones that put in the roses and garden.  However they also put wite marble chips and lava rock.  A lot of people wonder how we know this, well that’s because the immediate previous owners didn’t do much besides inhabit the house.I’m trying to get in touch with Mr. and Mrs. Richter – I believe they live in Rohnert Park, not far from Vallejo.   I’ve sent a letter.8/17/2008 UPDATE:  Mr. Richter replied to my letter and let us know a good bit about the house as they found it in 1986.  Very informative.  Here’s a transcript from the letter.
  • May 1997 – December 2006 – John and Lillian Munoz (foreclosure)
    The Munoz story is a rather sad one.  Lillian and John bought the house from the Richters.  According to our neighbor Rebecca, she and Lillian used to go to school down the street at the Vallejo Adult School and pass the house every day.  Lillian loved the house and always wanted to live here.  When the Richters started looking for someone to move into the house and care for it as they did, they looked for a while before Lillian and John found it and jumped on the opportunity.   Elaine and John interviewed them and then had them meet the neighbors and then decided they were the right ones.When they moved in, many of the other neighbors really took to Lillian.  She loved the garden and the roses.  Many of the neighbors comment on how they would come by and chat with her in the garden.  Lillian was English, and was very friendly to all.Unfortunately Lillian was diagnosed with cancer and died after living in the house only a few years.  From what we’ve been able to piece together, after her passing, John didn’t fare too well.  Due to bad judgement, he refinanced the house or entered into a reverse mortgage.  At some point he also failed to pay the taxes.  In 2006 the bank entered a notice of default and auctioned the house.  Nine months later we found the house, abandoned, vandalized, overgrown, and crying for some love.
  • 2007 – Present – Tom and Chris, Ms. Kitty and Mr. Toddley
    We bought the house from the bank.  I found the house on RealtyTrack and fell in love with it even before I saw it.   The specs for the house really spoke to me – 2515 square feet, 1 floor, large lot, and most importantly some lovely old bones that would be beautiful. The house had several things wrong with it.  It needed to be rewired as the vandals had ripped out all the copper wire from the basement – lovely.  We had to have it replumbed, as same vandles stole all the copper pipe as well.  Also, homeless folks (perhaps would be vandals) and a crack whore or two moved into the basement and garage.  Infact, there were even crack-whore leavings under the back sunroom / sleeping porch that is Chris’ office.  Lovely.

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