J. Fox House

Jay Fox, the second owner of this 1876-built Victorian in Placerville, California, owned Fox Drugstore downtown with his sister, Allie.

Jay and his wife (we couldn’t find her name, sadly) had one son, Woodward J. Fox, who eventually became a pharmacist and moved into a Spanish style house next door with his wife, Jessie.

Woodward was also a trumpet player in a dance band that played every Saturday, ending each set with a song called “It’s 3 o’clock in the Morning, We’ve Danced the Whole Night Through.”

Its original owner was A.P. Hall, a hardware merchant. All the interior woodwork was handcrafted, and one unusual feature is that the home had a water wheel in the basement, which was used to run a washing machine.

The Hall family lived here through the turn of the century, then the Foxes were here through the 1950s. Jay Fox died and his widow moved, so the house was sold to a retired highway patrolman, who lived here until his 1974 death.

By then, it was in great disrepair, with 19 broken windows, a leaking roof, peeling wallpaper, bad wiring and plumbing.

Clem and Karen Boll bought the house in 1975. Clem, who was a building contractor, along Karen and his brother, Joe, worked for six hours a day, for six months to restore the property.

It is one of the oldest homes in Placerville.

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