215 E. Lime Avenue, lived in by the Anderson family 1886-1974 is now a time capsule you can enjoy. The Anderson House in Monrovia is preserved by the Monrovia Historical Society.
We need to continue restoration work -- plastering, wallpapering, shoring up the foundation and more. Please consider donating to the next steps.
This home at 215 E. Lime Ave. is one of the very first in Monrovia -- built by John Anderson for his family. He also built the first commercial building in Monrovia –- the Mills Hotel, where prospective settlers often stayed when they inspected land and made plans for homes.
Lots in the new Town of Monrovia were first offered for sale on May 17, 1886. Two of the first were bought by William Mills, who promptly hired John C. Anderson to build the Mills Hotel (the Monrovia Hotel, as it soon came to be known).
John Anderson was a Los Angeles contractor. Impressed with promise of the new town, he purchased three lots for himself and built this family home for his wife, Lizzie, son Lewis and the baby on the way, George. George would occupy the home for the rest of his long life.
John Anderson was active in the business life of his new community, serving on the Monrovia City Council in the early days. After he died in 1902, Lizzie would live in the home with their son George until her death in 1929. George, who never married, lived in the house until his death in 1974, nearly 88 years of age.
As a young man, George went to work for the First National Bank of Monrovia. He remained with the bank for his entire career, retiring as an assistant manager in 1934. By that time, the First National Bank had become part of the Security Trust and Savings Bank, later to become Security Pacific National Bank.
George left his entire estate to the Security Pacific National Bank as trustee for the California Community Foundation. His brother Lewis had married, but had no children. The executor of George’s estate attempted to sell the old family home as part of settling the estate, but years of deferred maintenance discouraged any potential buyers.
In the meantime, the Historical Committee of the Friends of the Monrovia Public Library had been looking for an early Monrovia house to purchase and restore for the purpose of providing later generations of Monrovians an insight into life in Monrovia in its early days. The house was also to serve as a depository for early day records, pictures, papers, etc. Learning of the Friend’s interest, the California Community Foundation gave the Friends a grant to purchase the Anderson house for this purpose. Title to the Anderson House passed to the Friends of the Monrovia Public Library on July 10, 1975, just a year after George’s death.
The Monrovia Historical Society was formed in 1979 to take over the responsibility from the Friends of the Monrovia Public Library, which had come to see it as outside its area of focus.
Under the leadership of the late Brice Tulloss, a restoration committee was formed, and work began. The restoration was designated as an American Bicentennial project, and won recognition from the National American Bicentennial Committee. Many civic organizations contributed supplies and volunteer labor for the restoration, and a number of generous individuals donated or loaned period furnishings for the refurbished interior to replace the original furnishings that had been sold to raise funds. A formal dedication ceremony in memory of Brice Tulloss was held on September 16, 1979.
The Anderson House is open on specific dates as announced and by appointment for tours.