Neighborhood Walking Tours
Free guided walking tours are small groups led by trained guides who are able to explain the architectural features and history of stops on the tour. Tours pass by homes but do not allow access. To see private residence interiors purchase tickets for the Open Homes Tour.
Information is available at the Stroll Heritage Plaza Information Booth
Each stroll lasts approximately 45 – 60 minutes. All terrain is flat on city sidewalks. Wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera. Stroll walking tours start at times and locations noted below.
2016 STROLL WALKING TOURS
WHAT STYLE OF HOUSE IS THAT?
This “early bird” tour will criss-cross south College, First, and Second Streets and observe changes in housing styles precipitated by architectural innovation, revival periods, and technological and social changes. Learn the basics of Victorian, Shingle, Colonial Revival, Mission, Craftsman, Bungalow, Art Deco, Ranch, and eclectic styles and the history behind the houses during a fun and interactive leisurely stroll. Strollers will view an amazing array of beautifully restored houses by dedicated homeowners encompassing 150 years of history and learn why Woodland is the Jewel of the Valley.
8:30 AM tour starts at 756 First Street (corner of First and Pendegast streets)
Docents: David Wilkinson & Roger Klemm
FABULOUS FIRST STREET’S ARCHITECTURAL TREASURES: PARTS 1 AND 2
Richly diverse with a wide array of Victorians, including the California State Landmark Gable Mansion, First Street contains a stunning variety of well-preserved architecture spanning the period 1860 to 1940, epitomizing Woodland’s extraordinary cultural heritage and social history. The homes along this beautiful street have been beautifully restored by many homeowners over the last 50 years, including the Victorian at 638 First Street, winner of a national Great American Home Awards Grand Prize for restoration work. This exceptional tour encapsulates American architectural history within a few breathtaking blocks.
Note: This tour will be divided into two parts to capture the grandeur and beauty of the entire street.
Part 1– 9:00 AM Tour starts at corner of First and Lincoln.
Docent: Craig Shields
Part 2—10:30 AM Tour starts at First and Cross streets in front of Gable Mansion
Docents: Patrick Talbott and Lucy Christensen
COLLEGE STREET PIONEERS AND PRESERVATIONISTS
College Street has a variety of upscale house styles, including Victorian-era Italianates, Queen Annes, Craftsman Bungalows, and the first Modernist home in Woodland. Discover these homes and who lived in them during the early days of Woodland. From a United States Congressman, a bank president, an author and a Women’s Christian Temperance activist, College Street was home to incredibly interesting and influential people. Fast forward a generation or two and meet some of the people who live on College Street and continue to preserve these architectural gems for us to enjoy today.
9:30 AM Tour starts at S/E corner of College & Lincoln streets (historic Woodland Christian Church)
Docent: Barbara Graham
BARNS & ALLEYS AND HIDDEN SURPRISES (Children’s Tour)
This fun tour is full of surprises that kids (and adults) will love. This stroll will begin at Dog Gone Alley, one of Woodland’s two downtown alleys, weaving its way into hidden residential alleys. Children will discover some of Woodland’s seldom seen places, visit several barns and carriage houses from the horse and buggy days. Towering ancient Valley Oak trees and other specimen trees planted by families from bygone days will be discussed. Kids will investigate what’s on the other side of Woodland’s historic homes. The tour will end at Dingle School where light refreshments will be served. Dingle Elementary History Club students, dressed in Victorian clothing, will be there to teach other children how to play Victorian games such as rolling hoop, graces, marbles, etc. Indoors there will be Victorian board games, copies of historic photos of the school site, and a large timeline of the school’s history dating back to the 1800s when the original Oak Street School stood at the site.
9 AM Tour starts at corner of Dog Gone Alley and Second Street (just south of Main Street)
Docent: Ken Trott
BARNS & ALLEYS AND HIDDEN SURPRISES (Regular Tour)
This tour will be probe deeper into Woodland’s residential alleys where adults can be kids again and explore some of the town’s hidden, but fascinating history.
10:30 AM Tour starts at corner of Dog Gone Alley and Second Street (just south of Main Street)
Docent: Ken Trott
Starting at Pendegast Street, which has been called Woodland’s “Bungalow Heaven”, this “educational” tour, led by Woodland architect, Chris Campbell, winds its way down Elm Street with charming Victorians and bungalows to a very historic school site that began with Oak Street School in 1889 and continues today as Dingle School, originally built in 1924 as Woodland Grammar School. There is a colorful mural on the new multipurpose building. The Dingle neighborhood features many fine examples of Bungalows from the 1910-20 period.
10 AM Tour starts at N/W corner of Pendegast & College streets
Docent: Chris Campbell
GOTHIC TREASURES, VICTORIANS, AND TUDORS
Near the start of this leisurely tour strollers will see a lovely Arts & Crafts Gothic Revival Church designed by a Berkeley master architect and later on a rare Gothic Revival home from the 1870s. Scattered throughout this tour are houses of many styles, shapes, and sizes, including Victorians, and many from the 20s and 30s, including Craftsman houses and an ancient Valley Oak tree with a bench providing shady respite on warm days.
10:30 AM Tour starts at S/E corner of Second & Lincoln streets
Docent: Roger Klemm
DEAD CAT ALLEY
Featuring Jack Din with childhood stories of his family’s Tai Lee Laundry
In 1873 Sam Ruland had the misfortune of being robbed on Dead Cat Alley. Even before that time, the alley had already become one of Woodland’s most interesting landmarks. Today, most visitors are alarmed at the unusual name of the passage, but personal tales of “The Alley” bring its history to life. In 1853 Henry Wyckoff built a small store on the southeast corner of what is now First Street and Dead Cat Alley. The Tai Lee Laundry and the Din family later occupied the same building. 2016 Strollers will spend an hour to see how the commercial district grew from there and hear about happenings in the alley. The tour will include 666 Dead Cat Alley, Woodland’s first post office, the town’s original railroad site and China Town – behind the Chicago Cafe, one of the oldest restaurants in California. Also to be shared are recollections from “A Run Around the Block” by Woodlander Veta Griggs.
10:00 AM tour starts at Downtown Heritage Plaza, Second and Main
Docents: Dino Gay and Rich Westphal (NSGW Woodland Parlor 30)
DOWNTOWN WOODLAND’S RENAISSANCE TOUR
Woodland is a classic Main Street town and a slice of Americana, with many exceptional well-preserved historic buildings and others undergoing renovation by bold and enterprising owners. The entire downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On this tour we will focus on several iconic Woodland buildings that are being carefully renovated for creative new uses, included upstairs loft housing. We will hear the inside stories from developers Ron Caceres and John Anagnostou, whose work is helping transform Downtown into a lively destination with big possibilities for future urban living, music venues, and interesting restaurants. We will stroll by buildings they are renovating to discuss their vision, designs, preservation surprises, and the challenges of rehabilitating historic buildings. We will also explore the Victorian iron storefronts in the downtown area, including those recently uncovered after years of being buried beneath outdated architecture. Sean Denny will describe the inspiring work he has done on the Hunt Building on First Street, exposing iron columns and bringing the architectural detail to life with imaginative and exciting paint colors. Don’t miss this unique tour as we learn first-hand how beloved Downtown Woodland is reinventing itself as a destination spot for locals and visitors alike.
10:30 AM Tour starts at Heritage Plaza (Main & Second streets)
Docents: David Wilkinson, Ron Caceres, John Anagnostou, Sean Denny & City Planning Director, Ken Hiatt