Goodman House


Interesting Features of the House

Among the interesting facts and features of the house is that it was once at the farthest end of town, yet was one of the earliest homes on the Esplanade. The property was one of two parcels on the entire block.


The house had a parlor, sitting room, large dining room, and kitchen on the first floor. The second floor had four bedrooms, a sun porch and one bathroom. There was an attic and a full basement. During WWI the basement was converted to temporary housing for families of soldiers stationed nearby.


The building behind the home was their carriage house. The house was built with no fireplace, but rather a "modern" heating system. The house originally had gas lighting, and was converted to electric lighting around 1911 according to the date stamps on several original fixtures. The furnace used coal, then oil, and eventually was converted to natural gas to heat the home. To cool down in the summer heat of Chico, a screened sun porch was used for more comfortable sleeping.


Much of the original wood, light fixtures and hallway wainscoting are still in the house today.


Legend says that the ghost of a man who died after tumbling down this staircase still haunts the Goodman House.


The Chico-Vecino was a part of the Arroyo Chico grant to William Dickey by Governor Micheltorena granted November 18, 1844. The property became part of Chico-Vecino and was recorded in Butte County and layed out by John Bidwell in 1889. After Bidwell’s death, his lands were subdivided and lots were sold to colonists from the East and Midwest.The property was deeded to Horace Goodman in 1905 and construction of the house began in 1906. The property was annexed to Chico in 1918.

The Goodman House Law Offices occupied the property until 2003 when Tom and Margo Graham purchased the house and began renovations that attempt to recreate the ambiance of a grand home in the early 1900's as the Goodman House Bed and Breakfast.


The Goodman House Ghost

The Goodman House is a colonial revival foursquare home built in 1906 by Horace Goodman at the corner of 4th Avenue on the Esplanade in Chico, CA.


Horace’s family resided in the home until his death in 1917. The next residents were George Vogelsang, his wife Erin, and four daughters. Thirty-nine years later, George fell to his death on the steep, dark staircase at 90 years of age. George’s daughter Retta, who had cared for her elderly father, remained in the house until her death in 1973. In 1974 the house was purchased from the Vogelsang estate and became law offices. The building was again sold in 2002 and converted to a Bed & Breakfast by Tom and Margo Graham.


Rumors of the haunting of the house began soon after the lawyers occupied the building. People working in house have reported mysterious happenings. One woman told stories of being in the kitchen and the door unexplainably flying open and shut. Another woman told of hot water running full blast in the sink all night, yet no one had turned it on. One attorney who often worked late at night would hear distant muted tingling noise. Another lawyer had problems with his desk nameplate being turned over, thrown on the floor and then completely missing.


After the purchase of the house in 2002, the Graham’s were surprised by people stopping in to see the renovations they were undertaking, but to also tell haunting stories. A man who had been painting the house for the law firm told of being in the basement at night and hearing footsteps upstairs. He would go up to see who it was and no one would be there. He also told of turning off lights and having them come back on, yet he was alone. Another woman told of the attic door being stuck and she couldn’t get files she needed early one morning before anyone else was in the office. She went to answer a phone and came back to find the door wide open. No one else was at work yet.


The Graham’s admit to being a bit skeptical about the stories, since they have not seen or felt anything that could not have a logical explanation. Tom and Margo decided that maybe it would be a good idea to contact a noted San Francisco Bay Area Medium/Psychic, Marge Cuddeback, who was invited to the B&B overnight. She reported that she definitely felt a strong spirit presence. After telling Marge about the stories we had heard, she said that all of the incidents were consistent with spirit activity in haunted houses. Marge said that the spirit was gentle and we had nothing to fear. She also felt that the spirits were probably happy that this was a home now.