McKee-Lundy House


McKee-Lundy House

Designated official San Jose Landmark No. 34, the 120-year-old McKee-Lundy home on North 17th Street between Jackson and Empire Streets, was built by Joseph Olcott McKee in 1880 for his daughter, Isabella McKee Lundy. Isabella and her husband, Azariah, raised three daughters and a son in this Eastlake, stickstyle Victorian farmhouse. Aziariah Lundy, an early commuter, traveled by horse and wagon to his ranch in the nearby foothills.

J.O. McKee sailed around the Horn in 1849 aboard the Isabella, a ship captained by his father, Henry. Arriving in San Francisco harbor in May 1850, the two McKees started a shipping business and transported the first fruit from Santa Clara County to the San Francisco market place. In 1850, captains Henry and Joseph were credited with moving the archives of California's first state capitol, north from Alviso, aboard their sloop.

In the Fall of 1852, Henry McKee died in a ship accident, just as his wife and children had departed from the East Coast to join him in California. In response, young Joseph sold his sloop and bought the family farm, where San Jose High's pool is now, on McKee Road. He then set his course to become a carpenter, an architect and a builder. He never lost his love of the sea, however, and in later years built a 42-foot yacht, the Comarada. He was the founder of the South Bay Yacht Club and took first place three years running, in 1902, 1903 and 1904, in the South Bay Yacht Harbor Races.

Today, the McKee-Lundy house is inhabited by David and Jean Walker-Wiley and their children, who, after moving in the 1980s, a century after the house was built, have lovingly restored their home. The mantle, hand-inlaid with, "Welcome to Hearth and Home," was moved from McKee's home, which fell in the 1906 earthquake, to the Lundy home. The mantle is a centerpiece of the sitting room, which has been restored with period wallpaper, Eastlake-style furniture, and early photographs of the family. The McKee-Lundy house is now landscaped and fully-restored, and is a spectacular Northside landmark.

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