Hargitt House, Norwalk, 1891
Norwalk celebrated the famouse "Gay 90's" with the construction of a number of fine homes that were located in the middle of orchards, farms and dairies.
One of those residential landmarks was built by the D.D. Johnston family and subsequently became known as the Hargitt House. Today you have the opportunity of visiting the Hargitt House Museum at 12436 Mapledale, Norwalk, California, which was donated to the people of Norwalk by Chun and Ida Hargitt.
The Johnston-Hargitt Ranch originally consisted of 120 acres devoted to the cultivation of wine grapes, plus, avocados, and citrus fruits. Eventually the surrounding acreage gave way to housing development leaving only the house and water tower.
This house was built in 1891. The two-story shiplap building is built of Redwood shipped from Northern California, floated ashore at Seal Beach and then hauled north along what is today Norwalk Boulevard. This home is an Eastlake Victorian style home with crossed gables. The exterior design has not been changed from the original. The front and side bay gables are covered in "fish scale" shingles and ornamented with decorative scrollwork. The bay windows and two-story entrance porch are ornamented with spindle and bracket work. One of the original stained glass windows still remains as well as the original etched and stained glass work at the front door.
The semi-attached water tower has not been altered and still retains its original pipes. The stairs at the rear of the water tower building were added in 1930.
Friends of the Hargitt House and members of the Norwalk Historical Heritage Commission conduct tours of the Johnston-Hargitt Ranch Museum on the first and third Saturdays of each month.