With its asymmetrical shape, faux tower, and prominently decorated dormer, the Kellogg House is a late example of Queen Anne-style Victorian architecture. For many years a model of a surveyor’s transit perched atop the cone-shaped cupola to help guide clients to Kellogg’s home office. In 2006 it blew down in a windstorm and was displayed in the house until June of 2011, when it was repaired and returned to its original location.
The interior of the house has several unusual features that reflect Kellogg’s keen interest in ships. Most prominent is the mast, salvaged from a ship in San Francisco, that stretches from floor to ceiling in the center of the house. The spiral staircase surrounding it features a landing overlooking the oval dining room that is reminiscent of the bridge of a ship. And the wooden-railed circular opening in the attic floor, through which the mast extends to the roof, suggests a ship’s crow’s nest.
The house was originally located in downtown Santa Ana at 122 Orange Street. When the city of Santa Ana condemned the homes in that neighborhood to make room for new development, the family donated the house to the Museum (then known as the Exploratory Learning Center). It was moved to the grounds in 1980. In 1985 the Orange County Combined Corporate Volunteers and the Junior League of Orange County restored the house, which opened for tours in November of that year.
The house is now used for hands-on education about the Victorian era for nearly 18,000 children each year. A variety of other activities, including public tours, formal teas, and wedding photo sessions also take place in this lovely old home.