Old Idyllwild, 1949 Cabin. Photo by Frazier-Drake

The Idyllwild Area Historical Society’s much-anticipated annual fundraiser, the 12th edition of its Home Tour, features five very different mountain homes, each with a distinctive character and ambiance.


An 800-square-foot 1949 cabin in pristine original condition offers a peek at old Idyllwild. A more modern home features Spanish-Moroccan décor and musical instruments from all over the world. A 2002 Craftsman style home oozes rustic ambiance set off by an octagonal dining room with a peaked ceiling. A breathtakingly striking modular home that no one would ever know was modular had to be lowered in to its hilltop setting by cranes. And finally, a home with nearly 360-degree views and 1,400 feet of outdoor decks, which extend the home’s living space at various levels, completes the extraordinary offerings of this year’s tour.

New Idyllwild. Photo by Frazier-Drake

IAHS volunteer Charlotte Groty has seen all the homes and thinks they are each thrilling. “The 1949 home has original tongue and groove pine paneling and vintage fir floorboards,” she noted. “It has a still working beautiful O’Keefe and Merritt stove and an original, also still working, Coldspot refrigerator. The cozy living room has a beautiful bay window with padded benches. The cabin is a wonderful reminder of what Idyllwild used to be.”


Groty described the 2002 Craftsman as “cabin style comfortable decorated with mountain whimsy” — leaded glass windows, soaring knotty pine ceilings and a river rock fireplace.

She thought the modular home would fascinate viewers. “The owners will have a slide show running, which details how the home was lifted into place,” she said. The artist owners designed the stained glass windows featured throughout, complemented by sculpture art and black slate porcelain floors. “It’s like a tree house with views from the living and dining rooms as well as the kitchen,” Groty gushed.

The fourth house, with the 360-degree views, features, according to Groty, jaw-dropping pine beam ceilings, and walls of windows with views of Idyllwild’s noted mountain features as well as the lights of Hemet.

Lastly, the home with Moroccan décor and musical instruments abounds in tasteful elements said Groty, including gorgeous use of color and a vintage Wurlitzer juke box. “It is very delightful and welcoming,” she said.

“Every year we get the most wonderful people to volunteer their homes in order to help the museum,” Groty said gratefully.

The Idyllwild Area Historical Society’s 12th Annual Home Tour will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, Saturday, Sept. 15. Tickets are $20 per person and are available at the Museum or by calling (951) 317-4613. Also visit www.idyllwildhistory.org for more information. Proceeds are used to support the IAHS mission of sustaining the museum and promoting public awareness of local history.