Soon after their decision to live in Tustin,
Mr. and Mrs. Hewes bought property to build a
home at the northwest corner of Main and B, now
350 B Street.
When David Hewes and his wife, Mathilda, came to
Southern California in 1881, seeking a climate
more beneficial to her bronchitis than the
dampness of the San Francisco Bay area, they
decided to settle in Tustin.
Hewes had made a
fortune as a contractor in the city of the
Golden Gate and achieved recognition for
contributing a golden spike for California
Governor Leland Stanford to use in joining the
final rails of the Transcontinental Railroad in
the 1869 ceremonies.
He was probably
the wealthiest and most widely traveled man in
Tustin at that time.
Soon after their
decision to live in Tustin, Mr. and Mrs. Hewes
bought property to build a home at the northwest
corner of Main and B, now 350 B Street. No
record remains of either the architect or the
builder of the Greek Revival/Italianate house,
which is constructed of redwood with square-cut
faces B Street with a wide wooden staircase
leading to the double front doors which are
accented by large plate glass windows in the top
two-thirds and moulding-trimmed paneling below.
A porch with turned posts and balustrade runs
across the front and extends back on both sides.
An amusing story,
which may or may not be true, has been told over
and over through the years. It seems that after
she and her husband moved into the house, Mrs.
Hewes was looking forward to being able to
relax, rock and enjoy the front porch, but she
soon discovered that her view was impaired by
complained to her husband, he solved the problem
by buying the property occupied by the saloon
and donating it to the First Presbyterian Church
along with money to build a sanctuary. Today the
church owns the entire block between B and C
After Mrs. Hewes
died in 1887, Mr. Hewes continued to live in the
house for several years before returning to San
Francisco and remarrying. After he left Tustin,
the house had a number of tenants including
Count Jaro Schmidt who lived there in 1892.
Benjamin F. Beswick, superintendent of Tustin
Grammar School from 1919 to 1923, bought the
house in 1916 and lived there until 1945.
firmly believed that all his teachers should
live in Tustin, enforced this theory by
remodeling the second floor of the house to
provide bedrooms which he rented to them.
The house continued to be a boarding house and
became more and more dilapidated until the early
1950s when it was sold. The buyers, including
Linda and Steve Jennings, who have lived there
for a number of years, have treated the house
with loving care, restoring it to its original
beauty, using attention to detail as well as the
best workmanship and materials.
The house is now
considered a landmark with a plaque designating
it as an Orange County point of historical