When 8201 Michigan Avenue was built, the home was located outside the City of Whittier boundaries. It was annexed to the City of Whittier in 1966. The original street address was 701 S. Michigan.
According to the current owner's research, the residence was the main residence/farm house on what was originally a forty-acre citrus grove that extended south and west of the intersection of Michigan Avenue and La Cuarta Street. Subdivision and development of the citrus grove began shortly after World War II. For this reason, the majority of the surrounding structures and streets were constructed after 1950. The subject structure is one of the oldest homes in the area.
Until 1998, the home sat on an 18,919 square foot lot, which is much larger than surrounding properties. However, in 1998 parcel map no. 25081 was approved, placing the subject residence on a 10,409 square foot lot and creating a new 8,510 square foot lot directly to its west. The original garage was located to the west of the house and took access from La Cuarta Street. The original garage was demolished to accommodate the new residence and a new garage was constructed to the south of the home to provide the required off-street parking.
Edgar T. Williams purchased 40 acres in East Whittier, including the subject property, for a citrus orchard. He did not occupy the property until 1912, when the residence was constructed. The Williams family was originally from the east coast and arrived in Whittier in 1901. William Williams and his wife Eleanor were married in 1873 and by the time they arrived in California had four children (two sons and two daughters). Edgar T. Williams was the second of the four children, born in Newell, Iowa. William Williams was known as both a rancher and citrus packer. The Williams family occupied several residences in Whittier, as described in the attached documentation.
Edgar T. Williams came to California with his parents in 1901 as a grown man and was referred to as a rancher. He married Lorraine Frazier (sometimes referred to as Lillian) on June 1, 1904 and purchased the forty acre property on Michigan Avenue shortly thereafter. The couple moved to the subject residence in 1912, once construction was completed. Lorraine died in 1917. There is no record of any children of Edgar and Lorraine. Edgar was remarried to Edna W. Wagner on September 25, 1918, who then occupied the property.
Edna Williams, widow of Edgar T. Williams, sold the Michigan Avenue home to the Samarin family in 1967. The property was sold to Frank Ortiz in 1997, who never occupied the property, but acquired it with the intention of subdividing the oversized lot and building an additional home. Following the subdivision, the property was sold to the Hunter-McKenna family.
Local designation date is January 11, 2001. Its identification number is 36. There was a Mills Act Agreement connected to this residence at the time of Local Designation.
SOURCES: The information above has been obtained from the original local designation documents and edits from the Whittier Historic Neighborhood Association. It may also include ongoing current ownership input.
NOTE: The information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge.