Despite the disastrous fire of 1863, Big Oak Flat continued as a diverse community, among them many Italian immigrants. In particular, the Raggio and Marconi families had mining interests and ran stores in the stone Wells Fargo building next door.
This Queen Anne house in Big Oak Flat was built in 1900 for Joseph Raggio by Edward Cobden. Edward Cobden, a builder from New Jersey, came to California in 1895 and married Louisa Marconi, daughter of Emanuella Marconi Raggio, of the Raggio family. The house featured heavy turned posts, dentils, and patterned shingles. The structure is known as the “Cobden House,” and was earlier called the “Yellow House” or the “Raggio House.”
Over the years the house fell into serious disrepair. In 2007 the Cobden family donated it to STCHS to enable its preservation and enjoyment. STCHS volunteers have been hard at work to restore and preserve the house, including its original yellow exterior.
The Cobden House adjoins the historic Wells Fargo Gamble Building, also being restored by STCHS. Both are easy to see on the north side of Highway 120 in the center of Big Oak Flat. Visitors may request to visit by contacting STCHS.
Big Oak Flat - Cobden House
The Cobden House had remained unoccupied for many years. The elements had taken their toll prior to the transfer to STCHS.
For 8 years, STCHS volunteers devoted countless hours to restore the House, repairing woodwork, installing electrical, and painting. The work was all in accordance with applicable preservation regulations.
In 2016 the House was re-opened with a community celebration to express appreciation for all the hard work. Visitors can see the house by contacting STCHS at the Museum.