HISTORY OF THE GUNN HOUSE

Built for Dr. Frank G. Gunn in 1925, this groundbreaking all-electric home was ahead of its time.  The walls, inside & out, are 8" thick poured concrete.  It is believed that Thomas Edison conferred with Dr. Gunn on the construction, as Edison had been experimenting with this process in the early 1920s.  The home’s ceiling insulation consists of local gravel.


In 1925, this all-electric home was ahead of its time.  Of course, electricity was no problem. Dr. Gunn's brother, James A. Gunn, Jr., developed and owned the Lake County Power and Water Company.

Lake County Power and Water Company

The Lake County Power and Water Company boasted 31 miles of power lines, extending through Big Valley & Rincon Valley, serving Kelseyville, Finley, & Soda Bay.

Mrs. Molander, James Gunn Jr.'s mother-in-law, a native of Finland (Mummu as the children fondly called her), lived in a small cabin. It was she who stayed near the plant to see that everything was in order. As the "oiler," she made certain the equipment was properly tended. As if this weren't enough labor for this slight Finnish lady, she also tended her livestock on the mountain.  One year, she killed 25 rattlesnakes.  All of the Gunn children and their friends were so fond of Mummu and visited her often. A visit included quite a hike up the mountain.  There was no road.  They knew the cabin was near when the aroma of fresh-baked bread filled the air.  She baked bread daily and was always there to greet visitors with Finnish hospitality.  Visits to Mummu's cabin included a dip in the swimming hole near big falls.  The swimming hole was a welcome site before the long descent back down the hill to Kelseyville. On November 19, 1926, the Gunn system was sold to the California Light & Power Co., facilities of which were then being operated by the P.G.&E. Co., which had acquired a controlling interest in the latter corporation.  The Gunn power house ceased to operate.  The dam, flumes and ditches of the project have nearly disappeared from the lack of care.  Only parts of the old power house remain - - -

Dr. Frances George Gunn

Born February 1, 1871, in Woodstock, Ontario, Canada.  His father, James Sr., moved the family to Oakland in 1876; eight months later, they moved to San Francisco.  In the fall of 1878, they moved to Hullville, Lake County, then six months later to Middle Creek near Upper Lake. A year later, they moved to Kelseyville.  Dr. Gunn's father was an organ and furniture maker, piano tuner and taught all his sons the craft of woodworking. Beneath the Gunn photos is an example of a Gunn chair. Pump organs and furniture were manufactured in Kelseyville.  A "Gunn" organ may be seen today at the Lake County Museum.

Frances "Frank" entered Stanford in 1892 as a special student and was tutored by his older brother, James Jr.  He then went to Cooper Medical College in the Spring of 1898 and received the degree of M.D. in 1900.

He first practiced medicine at Upper Lake (1901-1902) and in Middletown for approximately a year.  Then he moved to Willits, where he practiced with Dr. (FIRST NAME?) Blodgett until 1919.  The two doctors established a hospital in Willits and were official medical representatives to the North West Pacific Railroad.

Some other important dates:

1920 - married Ethel Mabel Pilot. They had no children. Ethel died in 1936.

1923 - Gunns moved back to Kelseyville. His varied investments - orchards, real estate holdings, etc. - were beginning to take most of his time.

1937 - married Rosetta McGrail. Rosetta came to Lake County to work as a county school nurse. They had no children.

In March of 1941, this prominent citizen of Kelseyville passed away from a heart attack.