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Historic ’14-Mile House’ in Citrus Heights listed for sale at $340k

14-Mile Roadhouse
The historic 14-Mile Roadhouse at 6540 Auburn Blvd. in Citrus Heights // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
One of the area’s oldest wooden structures, a Citrus Heights home built in the Gold Rush Era, is now for sale on Auburn Boulevard with an asking price of $340,000.

The 14-Mile Roadhouse at 6540 Auburn Blvd. once served as one of many early way stations that were built at one-mile intervals along what was then-known as Auburn Road. It is also one of six sites in the city marked as historic landmarks by the City of Citrus Heights, and in 2012, the home was officially designated as a California Point of Historical Interest by the California Office of Historic Preservation.

So what would a buyer get for $340,000? A piece of history, as well as a 1900-square-foot two-story home on a quarter-acre of land, near Van Maren Lane.

Not bad, when looking at comparable homes in terms of square footage and land in the city — although with a build date of around 1849-1851, it’s a bit hard to find a true comparable. In fact, according to a landmark sign posted by the city outside the home, the 14-Mile House “is believed to be the oldest wooden structure and the third oldest structure overall in Sacramento County.”

According to the property listing online, the home also features some distinct design features, including a large front porch and two kitchens — one upstairs and one downstairs — along with two separate entrances. The location itself is a bit unusual with the property surrounded by apartments.

The seller, Terry Jensen, a real estate broker and general contractor who bought the property with a partner in 2015 in as-is condition, said he did some remodel work inside and addressed some “settling” and flooring issues. After being listed about two weeks ago, Jensen said the home is generating interest from potential buyers who are interested in the historical aspect, as well as those who see other potential in the unique property.

Jensen, who personally listed the home, said he’s hopeful to find a buyer who likes the history of the house and would “keep it as it was and possibly bring it back to life in the era that it was.”

Citrus Heights Historical Society President Larry Fritz also shares that hope, telling The Sentinel on Saturday that he toured the home with a realtor and is getting the word out to see if a buyer could be found who might be willing to open the house up as a historical museum — although he called the idea a long shot.

Related: Hundreds attend History Day at historic Citrus Heights Rusch Home

“Citrus Heights played a role in the Gold Rush and that home is the one link the city has to the Gold Rush Era past,” said Fritz. “If that goes, that’s it.”

He said although the site is listed as a Historical Point of Interest, the home doesn’t have any restrictions on what a future owner could do with the property — which means it could potentially be bulldozed and replaced with apartments like the area around it, if the buyer wanted to.

The reason for a lack of preservation restrictions on the property is apparently due to it not qualifying for designation as a state Historical Landmark, in part because it was altered from its original design and was moved back 50 feet from the road in 1919, after being acquired by the Van Maren family. However, the website for the state’s Office of Historic Preservation says environmental review may still be required under the California Environmental Quality Act “if the property is threatened by a project.”

Despite the modifications to the home, Fritz said it still has significant historical value. “Even though it’s been moved a little bit and altered, it’s still got a lot of historic qualities,” he said.

Learn more about the history of the 14-Mile Roadhouse: see a 15-page report from the city

Citrus Heights Vice Mayor Jeannie Bruins, contacted by phone on Wednesday, said she was unaware the home had been listed on the market, but called the home an “asset to the community” and said she was interested to see what happens to the home.

Asked whether the city would consider buying it, Bruins said she didn’t see a use for the city purchasing the property. “I can’t speak on behalf of the city, but I don’t see us acquiring it,” she said.

However, she said the listing price was attractive. “Shoot, I wish I had $340,000 and I’d buy it.”

Additional photos and information about the home can be found by clicking here for the real estate listing. Those interested in learning more about the Citrus Heights Historical Society will find additional information on the group’s Facebook Page.

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