Historic Buildings: Aydelott House


This Arts and Crafts style house was designed for George C. Aydelott by the McDougall Brothers architectural firm of Fresno and Bakersfield. It was built in 1906 by H.A. Wills. The original house was more than 3,000 square feet and included five bedrooms, a maid’s quarters and an indoor toilet. The main room was designed as a music room where musicians would be stationed by the window seats and an organ was placed on the balcony.


George C. Aydelott was born in Tullahoma Tenn. He came to Hanford in 1897 to care for his elderly aunt, who was a nun in the Hanford Episcopal Church. In 1898, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served as a courier between command posts in the Philippines. He returned to the United States in 1900 and married Clio Lee, a descendant of General Robert E. Lee. He and his new bride moved back to Hanford, where he worked as an accountant for Kutner-Goldstein Co., the J.K. Armsby Fruit Co. and the First National Bank of Hanford.


In 1903, Aydelott and David Murray opened the Hanford Ice Company to provide ice for railcars that shipped fruit. The ice plant was designed and built by the Vulcan Iron Works of San Francisco at a cost of $30,000. The ice plant was the most modern facility in the country at that time and produced 17 ½ tons of ice each day. The ice plant was expanded to include a bottling plant. Aydelott and Murray also built ice plants in Coalinga and Santa Barbara. Aydelott also founded the Fresno Oxygen company.


Aydelott participated in a number of civic activities. He served as chairman of the Episcopal Church Construction Committee, was a member of the Hanford Elks and sat on the committees that sited Woodrow Wilson and Hanford High schools. He was also involved with the local Board of Trade that, in conjunction with the Kings County Fair Association, built a local one-mile-long race track. His wife Clio was the founder of the California Writers and Artists of the San Joaquin Valley.


The Aydelotts had four children: Frank, born in 1901; James, born in 1904; Cleo Lee, born in 1908; and George Jr., born in 1911. Aydelott suffered a stroke in 1940 and passed away in 1945.



In more modern times, this home has been known as the Cameron House because it was owned by well-known Hanford real estate broker Walter Cameron. Cameron married Clio Lee’s niece, Sarah Lee, and the home was eventually acquired by the Camerons in the 1930s. In 1982-83 the home was converted to a business building.Today it is the Hanford location of Adair & Evans Accountancy Corporation and is owned by local accountant and historian Michael Semas and his wife Christine.


NOTES

  1. Michael Semas research presentation.

  2. Hanford Kings County Sentinel, July 30, 1903

  3. Hanford Daily Sentinel, July 10, 1919

  4. Header Picture - Kelley McCoy 2021