History still lives strong in three grand Roseville houses

Future of Haman, Fiddymen Ranch structures cloudy
By: J’aime Rubio for the Press Tribune
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There is so much history to be found within Roseville, you just have to know where to look. One afternoon, while I was driving near the corner of Oak and Taylor streets, the beautiful architecture of a Victorian home piqued my interest into its past. After researching the address, as well as two others within the area, I learned not only their history but the sad reality that some of these structure’s futures remain uncertain.

The Haman House

Built by William Haman in 1909, this home has literally witnessed the city of Roseville’s birth, and continued growth for over a century. Upon his arrival in town, Haman took over duties to run the newly established Placer County Winery, which was located just across the street. Sadly, Mrs. Haman didn’t get to enjoy the home for very long, dying a few months after an operation in 1913. It was documented that she was loved so much by the residents of Roseville that all businesses closed temporarily on the day of her funeral out of respect.

The Register newspaper stated that Mrs. Haman was “one of the most highly respected women of Roseville.”

Mr. Haman also left his own mark in Roseville in a big way. He saw to the founding of Royer’s Park, and started the Roseville Ice and Beverage Company that employed numerous residents. Over the course of his life, Haman acted as a Placer County Supervisor, a member of Roseville’s first City Council and the Director of the Weimar Sanitarium. He also held a seat on the Republican State Central Committee. During the last 11 years of Hamon’s life, he worked as the stock yards manager for Southern Pacific Railroad. His death fell on April 2, 1935. He was buried alongside his first wife Susannah, at the Roseville Public Cemetery.

“William Haman was one of the most community minded men,” says Christina Richter, President of the Roseville Historical Society. “During the Great Depression, Haman made sure that destitute families had fresh milk by spearheading a volunteer effort to milk local cows and donate 100 gallons to those families in need.  He really cared about the people of this town and it showed by his efforts.”

Over the years, Hamon’s old Victorian has been home to an art gallery and workshop for the Roseville Arts, a restaurant and also private office space for a major development company. In 2010, the home was put on the market as part of one of the largest bankruptcy cases in the Sacramento area to date.  According the Roseville Historical Society, the home’s future is a murky one, sitting vacant and slowly deteriorating.

Kaseberg Mansion

Another one of the most beautiful homes still standing in Roseville is the Kaseberg Mansion. Now a part of the Diamond K Estates Mobile Home Park, this property also has its own unique and interesting legacy. The mansion was built in 1892 for James William Kaseberg. Born in Dusseldorf, Germany, but raised in Rotterdam, Holland, Kaseberg immigrated to the United States in 1845 at the age of 18.  Shortly after coming to California, he started working as a teamster, using mules to help haul heavy machinery into the mines. He saved his money for a few years until he had enough to purchase his first 8,000 acres, where he imported Spanish Merino sheep and crossed them with domestic sheep. At one point, he had over 40,000 sheep. Over the years he continued to buy up all the land around him, eventually amassing a 50,000 acre estate. Kaseberg passed away on August 13, 1905, and was buried alongside his beloved wife at the historic Sacramento City Cemetery.

Besides the large mansion that still stands, there is another older brick structure on the property that the family lived in during the construction of the larger residence. Recently it was rumored that the old brick structure known as the “ranch house” would be demolished due to structural damage after several earthquakes. After speaking to Jennifer Nava, the property manager of Diamond K Estates, she believes the brick structure will continue to stand, but that it will no longer be in use. Thankfully, the beautiful mansion has been maintained and cared for lovingly over the years, and is now being used as a Club House and Activities Center for the Diamond K Estates residents.

Fiddyment Ranch House

This beautiful and historic ranch house is one with a great background. Nearly seven generations of the Fiddyment family have called Roseville their home. According to Christina Richter, who also authored the book, “Walk with me, I want to tell you something,” the story of the Roseville Fiddyment family, there is so much to be said of this landmark home. Richter explains that for 150 years the Fiddyment family owned and operated ranch land in some of the most picturesque countrysides in northern California.  Along with Roseville, their history has links to early California immigrants and the Gold Rush itself. Their home represents the epitome of pioneer spirit as this family endured struggles and triumphs from their humble beginnings in 1855. They eventually grew to become one of the most successful long-term ranching families in the state.

The old ranch house still stands with several of the original 1879 outbuildings intact. It has earned the honor of being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. But will it endure time and negligence? The property sits in limbo, and has been in this state for over ten years. It is slated for the City of Roseville to eventually create a historic public use place, but because they are still not ready to take it over, the developer who purchased the land still owns the old home. A caretaker resides in the property, but many local history lovers fear necessary and critical infrastructure maintenance is being deferred. The question becomes, by the time the city is able to take it over, will this treasure have fallen into such disrepair that it will have to be torn down?

Out of the three historic homes, the present fate of two remains unknown. So the does the query of whether they will ever be restored to their original grandeur and stand for another 100 years.