The Crew House- 408 Bright Avenue

Welcome to an historic “Pay Day House.”  The cheerful yellow home at 408 Bright Avenue has quite a history. The home was built in the late 1800s and is now owned by Patrick and Jeannine Crew.  The Crews bought the home in 1976 from Jeannine’s parents, William and Lucille Kuphaldt. In 1972, The Kuphaldts bought the home from Mrs. Genevieve Cuneo. Mrs. Cuneo’s husband, Frank Cuneo, was the grandson of the original owner, Frank Cadematori, who came from Italy in 1863 and worked as a miner in the Kennedy Mine.  He later became a baker, owning a bakery in Jackson for many years.

So what is a “Pay Day House”?  In the mining days, when pay day came or a baby was on the way, a house would be expanded. Rooms would be added or converted to suit the growing needs of the family. The 408 Bright Avenue house has undergone many such renovations. So, step inside and see how the home has grown.

The living room is part of the original structure. The Crews added the windows flanking the front door to replicate the original design where French doors once stood. The vintage screen door is from the Kuphaldt’s previous home. Opposite is a large brick fireplace. The bricks were taken from the outdoor brick ovens where Frank Cadematori would bake bread for his bakery. Helen Landgraft’s painting of St. Sava, the local Serbian Orthodox church, hangs above the fireplace. Next to it is an heirloom clock that once belonged to the great-great grandparents of a distant cousin. Other heirlooms are scattered throughout the room, including a painting of the school house in Murphys that Jeannine Crew attended, a painting by Dorner Schuler and another clock, whose wood came from a school desk at Jackson Elementary, where Patrick and the couple’s two children attended. Much of the art throughout the home was created by extended family members.

Adjacent to the living room is the Crews’ daughter’s bedroom. Notice the high ceiling, indicating this room is also part of the home’s original structure. A focal point in this gracious room is the antique dresser from Patrick Crew’s grandmother, refinished by John LeSage.  An antique trunk is a happy yard sale find. The nearby guest bathroom was remodeled and enlarged, shedding its original pink and blue tiles for a more neutral palette.

The second bedroom, their son’s room, is the result of a “pay day” renovation. Once a porch, the room was enclosed and now serves as the grandchildren’s bedroom. The back wall, which is covered with a forest wallpaper mural, is where the original home ended. Twin beds are covered with quilts made by Jeannine’s mother and grandmother. The pine floor is the only wooden floor in the house.

The kitchen and dining room were the major renovation to the home. The lowered ceiling reveals its later addition to the original home. In 1982 the Crews remodeled and enlarged the kitchen into an adjacent service room. Contractor Manuel Falco oversaw the remodeling and cabinetry. The dining room now occupies the original kitchen space, with the addition of a generous bay window. A brick alcove houses a wooden stove for cozy heating. Beyond the kitchen, is another addition. In 1972, Jeannine’s parents added square footage over an outdoor patio to create a master bedroom with en-suite bath and a laundry room.  The bedroom’s soft green and ivory wallpaper evoke the traditional character of the room.

The finishing touch to this home’s many additions and renovations is the outdoor space.   A large deck overlooks a swimming pool and tennis court.  This is the spot for many gatherings, including family celebrations, parties, reunions and even a wedding reception.  In the end it embodies the home’s many changes over the years, a place where family comes first.

Added information for Docents:

The Barn replicates the original barn that once occupied the site. The current barn is a garage and storage area.

The garage opposite the breezeway of the home, includes a large room outfitted with a king bed, table and chairs, a cozy sitting area and a bathroom. It will not be open during the tour, but affords room for guests.

A playhouse stands near the barn, and was built as a playhouse for the Crew’s children, and now, adored by their grandchildren.The property line ends at the fence beyond the tennis court. The tennis court and swimming pool were improvements made by the Kuphaldts in the early 1970s. While digging for the pool, a $5 gold piece was unearthed. It is in the hands of Jeannine’s sister, a happy discovery and memento of earlier days! The field beyond was once the location of the Amador Golf Club, established in 1923. Land for the course was provided by the Kennedy Mining Co. An old stone powder house on the hill above the links was given to the members for their club-house. The powder house still stands in the backyard of the Crew’s neighbor.

At the beginning of Bright Avenue is a building known as “The Creamery,” which is now a private residence. The building began as the Jackson Brewery in 1886, opened by John Strohm.  Strohm turned the brewery into a creamery during prohibition.