Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce
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The Cloud House
Doug and Linda Schultz
203 South Main St., Cedarville

The Cloud House in Cedarville (click to enlarge)

The Cloud House is believed to have been built prior to 1893. During a renovation project in 1980, current owners Doug and Linda Schultz discovered that Carlton A. Ingraham signed his initials on one of the original rough-cut siding boards. Mr. Ingraham owned the parcel from 1889 to 1893.

While researching the home's history at the county courthouse, the Schultz's later discovered Henry Sehlke had patented the parcel more than a decade earlier, in 1878.

The Cloud House in 1906 (click to enlarge)

Many of the nineteen previous owners of the home are people who loom large in the history of Surprise Valley and Modoc County. Among them are William T. Cressler and John H. Bonner who owned the house both separately and as partners, E.G. Scammon, James W. Sharp, and long time ranchers Jess Stiner and Ray and Peggy Page. The photo below was taken in 1906 when E.J. and Grace Beebe were the owners. It depicts a 20 mule team most likely hauling goods to Cedarville from the rail head almost 90 miles to the south in Gerlach, Nevada. That road remained unpaved south of the Bare Ranch through the 1970's. Also of note in the photo is the home's chimney; it was later dismantled for safety reasons though its original bricks were used to construct the hearth under the wood stove in the living room. The bricks were made in the valley.

In the photo above, one can't miss the tall windmill indicating a well was drilled in the front yard. The Schultz's found a half-buried old washtub at the same location soon after purchasing the home in 1978. It was covering the long-forgotten well head. Barely visible in the photo are several young trees growing between the house and the highway. The photo below, taken in the spring of 2005, shows two of the surviving trees. Though they have been regularly trimmed, they stand as a testament to the home's decades of endurance.

Though the home has been owned for the past twenty-eight years by the Schultz's, it is known as "The Cloud House" by long-time residents. James B. Cloud's wife Mary lived in the house from 1920 to 1946. Her son Henry and his wife Emilie lived in it from 1946-1947. The home has three bedrooms and one bath. The Schultz's have completed extensive renovations, turning the house into a showplace reflecting the valley's early twentieth century lifestyle. Most notably, they removed the exterior's old asbestos shingles, likely added in the 1940's, revealing the original shiplap wood siding. The handsome craftsmanship fooled even the county building inspector who suspected the family had failed to secure a permit for their "new" siding!

The outside restoration and painting was completed in 1980-81. The kitchen has been remodeled to reflect the home's turn-of-the-century style; the floor in the room is original. When old flooring covering the original wood was removed, the Schultz's found a wealth of well-preserved Surprise Valley Record newspapers dating from 1917 had been used as padding under the linoleum.

Cloud House Wood Stove (click to enlarge)

The wood stove in the kitchen was acquired from Lake City resident Bettie Parman. Some of the beams now separating the kitchen and living room were rescued when Doug dismantled an old barn on the property in 1980.

After one enters the home, if they turn and look back toward the main road they'll see how the front of the current house from the beam on the ceiling above, including the office to the south of the entryway, was originally a porch. Jess Stiner, who owned the home from1947-1963, enclosed the porch, expanding the home's interior considerably. A doorframe in Linda's craft room, now serving as a storage shelf, was the home's original front door. Linda believes that room served as the home's parlor before later modifications to the layout.

Doug built the cabinets in the living room and the kitchen and added the pine shiplap paneling in the living room. Linda says the Cloud House is a "wonderful example of how older homes were built to be comfortably heated using only a wood stove."

Cloud House Kitchen Cabinets (click to enlarge) Over the years, the Schultz's have developed a lovely garden behind the home. The north side of the yard has been carefully designed to reflect a series of distinct zones: dry creek bed (closest to the main road), wetlands, mountain slopes, and a meadow. The entire progression ends at the couple's peaceful pond which is deep enough to support fish year-round. The south side of the garden is a bit more "structured" and features herbs and flowers in raised beds.

Doug Schultz retired from the Forest Service in 2000. Linda retired from Surprise Valley Hospital's financial department in 2005. They willingly moved to the valley in 1978 even though they both vividly remember a fierce windstorm that marred their first visit to the area in 1976.

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Page modified: 19 Feb 2024 10:17:36 -0800

Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 518, Cedarville, California 96104

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