GUIDED TOURS

YEAR-ROUND TOURS—INCLUDED IN OUR TEAS and PRIVATE EVENTS

Our Tour Offering

Guided tours of the Pardee Home are our most important offering to the public. We offer a weekly drop-in tour every Saturday at 10:30 am. We also offer tours on the second Sunday of each month at 2:00 pm, in addition to specialty private tours for your group. You may make a reservation by clicking the button below—reservations are recommended but not required.

Minimum donation $5 per person. Suggested donation $10 per person. Children 12 and under are always free. Admission at the door by cash or check only!

Please note our Payment and Cancellation Policy for Pardee Home Tours, posted on the FAQ page.

Please check our Events Calendar page for any holiday closures, and for the availability of regular tours. Group tours may be arranged on any day anytime between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. Tours are approximately one and a half hours. If possible, please make reservations for group tours at least a week in advance. 

Because all of our furnishings and collections are original and authentic, without exception, we offer a remarkable look at the life of the Pardee family within these walls from 1869 through 1981. On the ground floor we visit the three formal front parlors (main, candlestick, and music), the informal back parlor, and dining room. On the second floor, we visit the three original bedrooms, several closets containing period clothing, the billiard room, the curio room, and the hallway lined with cabinets of Mrs. Pardee’s antiquities. We also allow our visitors the rare privilege of visiting our cupola, or tower, to admire the views from atop the Pardee Home.

Finally, we will see the gardens and our historic, all-redwood carriage house. The carriage house is a remarkable survivor in downtown Oakland once threatened with demolition to make way for an on-ramp to Interstate 980, but still intact with horse stalls, tack room, bins, and a rickety stairway to the hayloft area.

The Pardee Home has been described as the finest intact Italianate Villa Estate remaining in Northern California, and our guided tours offer a rare opportunity to see almost all of it!

Virtual Tour

Style of the home // Italianate Villa, High Victorian. The following is consistent with this style—Corinthian columns, cupola, wood to look like stone (scored and sand in paint), and formal front garden.

Bricks for the home were from Remillard Brick Yards. Wood is redwood from the wood mill of Dr. Samuel Merritt and from Mendocino County, CA.

Enoch, Mary and Little George // Enoch was born in Rochester, NY, in 1827. He lived most of his early life in Ohio and Michigan. He died in 1896 at age 69. Mary was born in 1830 and died in 1870 at age 40.

George and Helen Pardee // George married his high school sweetheart, Helen Penniman, in 1887. He was engaged to her while in medical school in Leipzig. Mrs. Helen (to differentiate from his daughter Helen) went to California State Normal School, founded in 1862.

Photos of the Pardee “Ladies” in the Governor’s mansion in Sacramento. On the left: Florence, Mrs. H, Carol, Helen and Madeline. On the right: Florence, Helen, Mrs. H, Madeline and Carol.

Paintings of Enoch and Mary Pardee from daguerreotypes by Charles Nahl. This was a wedding present to Mary from Enoch. Note the book in Enoch’s right hand—McKinsey On the Eye.

Pardee Home Front Parlor // Note the fireplace mantel is cracked from the earthquake of 1906. Perhaps the mirror with the gold borders represents the Gold Rush, which is one of the reasons that Enoch Pardee came to California.

The Candlestick Parlor // Originally this room was a side porch, and was roofed (1907–1910) in order to contain all of Mrs. Helen’s candlesticks.

Hand-colored photograph by Mrs. Helen. The 4th daughter, Helen, was not born until 1895.

Detail of the Carlton Watkins Yosemite Fixture in the downstairs hallway. Six large photographic plates of the 1880s of Yosemite—El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point, and Nevada Falls.

This was the bedroom for Enoch and Mary Pardee when they moved into the house in 1869. The upstairs was still being built. The square Steinway piano (under the portraits) pre-dates the house and belonged to the Penniman Family.

The Pardees had stalls for their horses prior to purchasing an automobile—the 1911 Winton Tourer was one of the earliest.

The 12th Street view of the back of the Carriage House.

An interior shot of the Carriage House, showing the horse stalls and one of the earlier carriages.

Up close view of one side of the Pardee family tomb, featuring Enoch Pardee’s history—shown also in the center of the following photo.

The Pardee Family tomb in Mountain View Cemetery with all three generations of Pardees.

Up close view of the Pardee Family tomb, featuring George C. Pardee’s history—one side of the multi-sided tomb shown in the previous photo.

Overhead view of the home, taken from a drone camera.

Nellie Pardee, Daughter of Enoch Pardee and his second wife, Emily.

Spring daffodils adorn the Pardee Home garden.

The first photo is the entry of the Pardee Home, with specialty chandelier designed by Carlton Watkins, featuring panels of images of Yosemite National Park. Additional family photos follow—George Pardee and Emily Pardee (Enoch’s second wife)—a unique floral tea cup used at the custom tea parties held at the Pardee home followed by a spring camelia found in the beautiful spring Pardee garden.

The Pardee Home dining room during a holiday party, shown in the first photo, adorned with Christmas Tree and festive holiday treats, and in the second photo, on a normal day. Notice the highly decorative hand-carved wooden chairs, sideboard and hutch.

The side yard spaces, featuring the vintage water tower, beautiful grasses, trees and garden delights. These spaces are part of the outdoor areas that can be rented for your private events.

The spring and summer garden at the Pardee Home features the amazing golden California Poppy, our state flower, rare and beautiful blooming succulent plants, bountiful camelia trees and colorful flowering bushes surrounded by lush flowers in an array of colors.

The Pardee home features unique collections of items such as this mounted deer. The photo on the right features a hand-carved billiards table, in the upstairs hall and library.