Former Jackling home focus of exhibit | October 5, 2011 | Almanac | Almanac Online |


Arts & Entertainment - October 5, 2011

Former Jackling home focus of exhibit

by Barbara Wood

The former home of copper baron Daniel C. Jackling may have been demolished, but in Woodside it is not forgotten. A new exhibit, opening this week at the Woodside Community Museum, is devoted to Mr. Jackling and the home.

"Days of Grandeur: The Jacklings and their Woodside Estate" can be seen starting Saturday, Oct. 8, during the Day of the Horse Events in Woodside (10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.), and on following Sundays, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the museum, 2961 Woodside Road.

Featuring architectural details salvaged from the home, the exhibit attempts to show visitors how the Jacklings lived as well as inform them about the home's architect, George Washington Smith, the copper industry in which Jackling made his fortune, and the opulent manner in which he spent it.

The home was demolished by the current owner, Apple Computer co-founder and Palo Alto resident Steve Jobs, earlier this year after a lengthy legal battle with historic preservationists who attempted to stop the demolition or have the home moved to another location.

Mr. Jobs agreed to let the town and other interested history groups salvage items from the home including the 50-foot flagpole, which will be installed in front of the museum, its copper mailbox, roof tiles, woodwork, fireplace mantles, light fixtures and moldings. Many of those items are part of the exhibit.

While the museum is tiny, the exhibit tries to give a feeling of what some of the rooms in the Jackling house felt like, using items such as the living room chandelier, stair banisters, wall tiles and the servant's call box along with photos and drawings. Reproductions of some of the artworks owned by the Jacklings, and copies of his meticulous records of items he owned, are on display.

Mr. Jackling was born in Missouri in 1869 and raised by relatives from the age of 2 after his parents were killed in a fire. As a young engineer, Mr. Jackling developed a way to extract copper from low-grade ore, which allowed the copper industry to supply the copper needed to string electric wiring across the county.

Mr. Jackling formed the Utah Copper Company in 1903, and within 10 years was successful enough to purchase his first yacht, the Cyprus. The 231-foot yacht, which he later extended to 267-feet, accommodated 30 guests in addition to a crew of 48.

The Utah Copper Company eventually became part of the Kennecott Copper Company.

Mr. Jackling's first wife, Jeanne Sullivan, died in 1914. Their only child had lived just a year.

In 1915, Mr. Jackling moved to San Francisco, where he leased the entire top floor of the St. Francis Hotel. He married San Francisco socialite Virginia Joliff that year. In 1922, the Jacklings purchased just less than 194 acres in Woodside and hired architect George Washington Smith to design what Virginia Jackling described in a letter to Mr. Smith as "a simple farm house."

Mr. Smith had earlier designed a home in Pebble Beach for Maud and Arthur Vincent, daughter and son-in-law of Filoli owners William and Agnes Bourne, who the Jacklings knew socially.

Construction of the Jackling's 17,000-square-foot, 14-bedroom Spanish-revival-style home was completed in 1926. Among the amenities was a pipe organ that could be played manually or by using music rolls. The original organ, with 19 sets of pipes, was expanded to a 71-pipe organ in 1938, with an addition to the house constructed to contain it. The Jackling organ is now owned by the Friends of the Jackling Organ, whose members plan to restore and preserve it.

The home had thick stucco walls that mimicked adobe, a red tile roof, custom-made wrought iron lighting fixtures and railings, and was built around a courtyard. It was furnished with treasures the Jacklings had collected in extensive travels around the world.

Virginia Jackling was one of the founders of the Woodside Trails Club in 1923. In 1928, a meeting was held in the Jacklings home to discuss the incorporation of Woodside, which did not take place until 1956.

Mr. Jackling retired in 1942, and died in Woodside in 1956. Virginia Jackling died a year later.

The home was sold in 1958 and the land surrounding it subdivided. It had three other owners before it was purchased by Steve Jobs in 1984, with the listed price of $3.5 million.

The exhibit was designed by history committee members Cutty Smith and Gretchen Tenenbaum, and consultants Jeanne Thivierge and Stephanie Scheafer. Artifacts for the exhibit were loaned by Sonja Davidow, the Jobs Estate, Virginia Anderson (a great-niece of the Jacklings who still lives in Woodside), and Dr. John Felstiner, who had once lived in the home.

Copies of the new book on Woodside's history, "Images of America: Woodside," will be available for purchase at the Day of the Horse. The book tells the story of the town in photos and was a project headed by Thalia Lubin, Bob Dougherty and the Woodside History Committee. It will sell for $21.99 with a portion of the sales price going to the museum.

Barbara Wood is a freelance writer, photographer and gardener from Woodside, and a former member of the Woodside History Committee.


Posted by Chester H Berry, a resident of another community
on Jun 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

Thanks to the Friends of the Jackling Organ for their heroic efforts in removing and preserving the Aeolian/Kilgen organ. Do you have any contact information for them?

Posted by GOLLY, a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2012 at 5:40 pm

It is obvious none of the people who are flogging this dead horse have no background in architecture, or the reality of what a dud this house represented for the architect. The mind is an organ and it was an important piece in the otherwise ordinary ugly structure.
Everyone loves organs.Big ones, old ones, and ugly ones.

Posted by Michaeltug, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jun 5, 2017 at 3:56 pm

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