CADDIE COOK ( - )


Caddie Cook and the Yucaipa Woman’s Club Members

Yo, ho, ho – I’m Caddie Cook, the daughter of Roy Cook, and we were making a living in the Dunlap area way back to the 1800s – I had a lot to do with the saving of the Yucaipa Adobe, along with other members of the Yucaipa Woman’s Club.

Interest in the old adobe goes way back to 1918 when Florence Schoneman put on her grandmother’s dress and share what life was like in the 1840s at the adobe. Her grandmother was Mrs. Diego Sepulveda. Florence was named the head of the History and Landmarks chairman that day. Mrs. Davenport reported she had been born in the adobe.
In 1937, interest in the adobe was revived and the desire to put a marker there was expressed by the 17 women who supported the thought. I was one of the 17. Just so you know, I lived there as a bride for several years, too.

Interest lapsed again until 1954 when there was discussion of tearing the adobe down. The county had condemned it. When I caught some workers starting the destruction, I – along with a bunch of us got the workers to stop. At the March 2, 1954 club meeting, the club members voted to save the 113-year old structure for posterity. I became chairman of the committee to “save the adobe, which became our slogan. Old Myrtle Crane send out about a hundred letters of appeal and in June we had $1,000.

I made enchiladas for a special dinner and we raised considerable money there, too.
The San Bernardino County Museum Association helped us and the San Bernardino County Historical Society assisted to. The Association opened an account at the Yucaipa Valley National Bank with an Escrow fund #1701 and all funds were deposited to purchase the adobe. Mrs. Eleanor Dunlap Foster found out we could buy the property for $3,000. We made quite the plea. It was an exciting day when we opened the escrow papers with the help of Mts. Ethel M. Long at the bank. We had $1,745 at the time. We thought it was a 60-day escrow – but wow, we hustled when we found out it was only a 30-day. We closed the escrow with an advance of $449.31.
 
January 24, 1955, was a gala occasion. We presented the deed to the county. The adobe was saved.

There were termite problems, the county gardener got into the act, and many people helped until we got a caretaker.

By 1968, the adobe became a California History and Landmark $528. The Conference of California Historical Societies met there. It was a busy year.

In the 1980s, there was more work and that was when the real shock hit. We found out that the Yucaipa Adobe was not built in 1842 – but in the 1850s. They all figured out the original Sepulveda Adobe had burned in the 1840s and the site was located down the street near Daniel’s Market. Word is some of the adobe from the first structure was used to build the new one – which was constructed by James Waters. Oh well.
 
We were all disappointed, but the Yucaipa Adobe is only 10 years younger than we thought and it still is very much a part of our history.

I lived my whole life close to the adobe – actually close to both sites. And I have a secret to share – there was the John Brown adobe, too, over by Avenue E – but then, that’s a whole another story.