The Behrens-Eaton House and Museum, not only a Victorian style turn of the century home, but also a Tour of Old Shasta history, and to many, myself included, a stroll down memory lane. The Behrens-Eaton House located at 1520 West Street, Redding, California, Is Nestled right downtown, behind the Courthouse where The Judge Richard Eaton Presided as Justice of the Peace, and Honorable Superior Court Judge from 1950-76
Also being where he Retired after 25 years on the Bench. Judge Eaton moved from Oregon as a Toddler just four years old, with his Mother in 1898.
The house was built by John Scott in 1895 and purchased by Charles Behrens, Sheriff of Shasta County and grandfather of Judge Richard Behrens-Eaton, in 1898.
The Behrens-Eaton family lived in the home from that date until Judge Eaton’s death in 2003. I had the honor of not only Meeting the judge in person But being Part of that History as well. My late mother was his lunch cook/housemaid for 10yrs; I remember sitting in his perfectly authentic Victorian home, watching my mother bake & the Judge taste test his persimmon cookies fresh off his tree in the back ha ha! But also memories of sitting in his office inside of the historical and beautiful home, as he told me stories of old Shasta, and a little bit of History coming from a Man who Lived through a lot of it! I can still recall the chill in the air as He liked to keep his shades drawn, he kept everything as it should be “in its proper place.” the Paint even smelled antique,
I was quite a bit younger, but I do remember just how his kind heart was so pure, and he Loved the history of Redding. One thing I will always Remember and be Proud to see happening, is Judge Eaton getting his Only wish for his Home to be turned into a historical Museum after his passing.
The Judge left a trust dictating that his home is a Victorian Museum to show future generations what a family home of that era experience was like. His will stipulated that the governors establish a repository of historical books, artifacts, letters, illustrations, photographs and papers which are symbolic of Judge Eaton’s professional career and his public life about Shasta County and California history. Judge Eaton’s main goal in establishing his trust was that there would be a venue for the children and citizens of Shasta County to learn about local history. With hard work and dedication, This is a dream that is Certainly coming true. School children and local historians are finding our museum and library provide a plethora of fascinating historical data and pictures. The display museum is now open at 1939 Butte Street- just north of the Behrens-Eaton Museum at 1520 West Street.
Museum tour hours are open 10 am-4pm Tues and Wed, and 1 pm-4 on Saturdays. Tours are Free of Charge, Donations accepted.