As part of our ongoing series, we’ve been highlighting the history of the cities we work in. Today we are looking at Pacifica, California.
While the city of Pacifica is only about twelve square miles, it boasts a population of 38,606 people and three fantastic beaches. It’s not all surfers, though, there’s a lot of history here as well.
Pacifica means peaceful, but this city’s history is quite the opposite!
A Castle and Intrigue in Pacifica
Sam’s Castle was built in 1907 by architect, Charles MacDougal, for the McClosky’s who wanted a fire proof, earthquake proof home. The great earthquake of San Francisco had happened only a year prior, leaving 220,000 people homeless. Emily McClosky was very fearful of this sort of thing happening again.
In 1914, Henry died but Emily stayed in the castle until their son finished law school at Stanford in 1916. Then, Emily sold the property to Dr. Hickok and his family.
In 1920, Dr. Hickok was arrested and charged with performing illegal abortions. At his trial, the jury found him guilty within seven minutes and he was sent straight to San Quentin for five years. The castle was then passed on to his son, Max, who, within two years, was also sent to San Quentin for the exact same offense. By 1922, the castle was sold to a restaurateur and during the twenties, the place was frequently raided for selling alcohol during prohibition.
In 1928, the Eakins’ purchased the property and the castle finally had a few years of peace, until, 1942 with the outbreak of WWII. Then, the Coast Guard leased the property for two years and used it as a communications center/barracks area for seventeen servicemen and their dogs. When the lease ended and the Coast Guard cleared out, they left behind a large mess, which they offered to fix themselves, but the Eakins accepted $1,000 and opted to do the repairs themselves.
A year later, Mr. Eakins died in a car accident before the repairs were ever made.. And, in 1955, Mrs. Eakins was found dead inside the home which she shared with twenty cats.
Sam’s Castle, Finally!
Four more years passed and the place was mostly vacant when it was finally purchased by Sam Mazza, an interior designer and painting contractor from San Francisco. Sam owned this property until his death in 2002. Though he never actually lived here, he filled it with art and hosted many community events and fundraisers over the years. The foundation Sam established is still housed there today.
Long Story, Short
All this to say that we have never put a roof on Sam’s Castle, but we have built roofs and solar paneling for so many of the homes and businesses in Pacifica, CA. If you too are in the market for a new roof, please visit our website for more info on a free in-home estimate.
San Francisco’s residential & commercial roofing experts