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The Fischer-Hanlon House, a California landmark, is part of the Benicia Capitol State Historic Park, which includes the State Capitol, a carriage house and servant quarters, plus a garden with an old wisteria tree, a rose bush of the Belle of Portugal, and an orange tree dating back to the 1850s that arrived around Cape Horn by ship. During the Gold Rush, the house was originally built on First Street in 1849. After the hotel was destroyed by a fire in 1856, it was moved and rebuilt by merchant Joseph Fischer to its new site, placing the original front of the house at the back of the garden.

The last three grandchildren of Fischer remained at home, all three of them single sisters with no descendants. In 1969, in memory of their late sister Marie, Hanlon’s sisters Catherine and Raphaelita donated the home and its contents to the state. The house is invaluable in that it offers people a snapshot of middle-class life in the mid-1800s, historical advocates argue. Volunteer Diana King, a teacher since 1986, said the house takes the past to the truth of the present and allows individuals to learn about their own family history.

This home museum is a part of the Benicia State Capitol Park. It isn’t always open when the Capitol Building is. It is worth timing your visit to see both of them. The very reasonable price of  $3 admission will cover both the home and Capitol.

You will definitely enjoy the great tour of this pre-civil war home. It is filled with the items and artifacts of the original families.  The house had stayed in the family until it was deeded to Benicia in the 1960s. It made it even more interesting to see how things had changed over the years. The tour will start in the rear of the house and work to the front and then upstairs.  The outer buildings are interesting. The garden is also worth exploring; the volunteers are replanting some of it.

You’ll love this house museum, and this one is a great one. You’ll be amazed to see how people lived and this one will give you a real feeling for the 100 years that the family lived here.

This amazing landmark in Benicia, California is located near some other must-see places of interest:

  • Benicia Capitol State Historic Park
  • Glass Beach
  • Benicia Historical Museum at the Camel Barns 
  • Benicia State Recreational Area
  • Benicia Arsenal
  • Benicia Main Street: First Street
  • Lindsay Art Glass 
  • 9th Street Park (AKA the 9th Street Pier) 

All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location at 1091 Shary Circle in Concord, California! Stop by for a visit anytime!

By Geraoma - Own work, Public Domain,