Gold Country Getaway

This 1959 modern charmer has acreage, 360-degree views and remarkable history
Fridays on the Homefront
If you're hearing the siren's song of less traffic and noise, and cleaner air and water, this Gold Country getaway, currently on the market, just may be what the doctor ordered. It has a rustic mid-century modern look and scenic views, and there's a charming backstory to boot. Photos courtesy Scott Bur

The debate continues as to whether the purported exodus from the Bay Area or California in general is real or imagined, but the story certainly has what journalists call 'legs.'

Maybe you yourself are hearing the siren's song of less traffic and noise, cleaner air and water. If you're feelin' it—but don't want to give up on mid-century modern living—then maybe a romantic, new listing in the Sierra Foothills with a charming backstory is your ticket to paradise.

"I love sitting on the porch, looking at the mountains," sighed Chris Williams, who has called 3087 Vista Verde Drive in San Andreas home for nearly a quarter-century.

Fridays on the Homefront
Views abound.

Despite some misgivings about selling, Willams and his wife hired Scott Bur of nearby Mountain Ranch-based Stark Realty, who listed the three-bed, three-bath on Mother's Day for $659,000. A retired attorney, Williams and his wife are selling the house they bought in 1997 so they can move to—where else?—the Bay Area to be closer to family.

"It's got a lot of living space," Williams said of the wooded, 5.5-acre parcel and 3,044-square-foot interior. The 1959 home is a concrete block-framed construction with numerous walls of glass and a houseful of Eichler-style Philippine mahogany paneling.

Uncertain whether the panels are the same lauan wood used by Joe Eichler, he nonetheless says proudly of its grain, "It's a pretty wood. Certain pieces of it have that kind of 'ribbon' look to it."

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Two-sided stone fireplace

There's a bit of romance in the house's origin, designed and built by the late John and Florence James. The couple met in 1945 as World War II aviation mechanics in Kaneohe, Hawaii, and went on to design and build numerous homes in the San Andreas area of Calaveras County, including their own, over nearly 70 years of marriage.

John died in 2015, and a Sacramento Union obituary for Florence, on her passing at age 100 last year, heralded her as "one of the original women's libbers." She must have been that to stake her claim with James in San Andreas of the late '50s, the tiny seat of a sparsely populated foothills county.

Fridays on the Homefront
Indoor swimming pool