One of Visalia's oldest homes burned to the ground over the weekend. It's the latest in a series of blows to the city's efforts to preserve its 150-year history for future generations.
The Italianate-style home at 807 S. Court St. was originally built in 1875 by Michael Mooney, a prominent figure in Visalia's early history, as a gift for his wife. Visalia is the oldest city between Los Angeles and Stockton and home to many pieces of early California history.
Two chimneys and charred rubble are all that remain of the historic home. "With a construction date of 1875, it was one of the earliest homes still in existence for that era," said Terry Ommen, a Tulare County historian. "Probably there are a few more but 1875 is pretty early for a home still to be standing, especially a wood-frame house."
Firefighters declared the home a total loss on Saturday after battling the blaze for nearly four hours.