The Smithsonian Institution‘s
“Journey Stories” exhibit is coming
and we need your help!
The Maag Farmhouse, completed in 1899, was the ranch house of citrus and nut grower John Anton Maag, his wife Catherine, and 10 of their 12 children. The size of the family and Maag’s success in his agricultural and business ventures are reflected in this 5000 square foot Colonial Revival house. Members of the Maag family lived in the house until Catherine died in 1955. The 31-acre ranch on which it stood was then purchased by the adjacent Fairhaven Cemetery, which put the house to use as a caretaker’s residence before selling the land to a mobile home developer in the 1970s. In 1981 it was moved to the Museum along with two of its original outbuildings.
Exterior features of the house include a hipped roof with two gables, one on the front of the house and one on the side. An L-shaped porch wraps around the corner between the front and the main side entries, with its roof supported on Tuscan columns. Pedimented gables enhanced by scrollwork accent these entries.
The house has been recently repainted by volunteers from Behr using a colorful palette typical of the Victorian period. The area in front of the house, which had become badly overgrown, has been cleared and is now an expansive lawn.
The companion buildings, carriage barn and water tower/pump house, also stand near the main house. Both have been restored on the outside. The inside of the carriage barn has been remodeled to house Museum offices and classroom/meeting space. The water tower/pump house now houses a small gift shop specializing in toys for the thousands of school children who visit the Museum each year.
The original floor plan of the house included six bedrooms, a grand paneled entry hall, a large parlour, a music room, a dining room capable of seating up to 24 people, a spacious kitchen, a butler’s pantry, and one and a half bathrooms. The interior of the house is now the subject of a major restoration campaign. The Smithsonian Institution has selected the Museum to host their traveling exhibit “Journey Stories.” The exhibit will be housed inside the Maag Farmhouse and will open in October 2014.