The Newhall Mansion from “Charmed”May 2nd, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: Charmed Filming Locations, TV Locations
Another location that the Grim Cheaper and I visited two Saturdays ago while doing some stalking in the Heritage Valley area was the Newhall Mansion, formerly the Piru Mansion, which fellow stalker Chas, from the ItsFilmedThere website, had told me about a few weeks prior. The Newhall Mansion has appeared in countless productions over the years, most notably the Season 2 episode of Charmed titled “How To Make a Quilt Out of Americans” and Chas figured that because my girl Shannen Doherty had once been there, I might be interested in stalking the place. Oh, how right he was!
The Newhall Mansion was originally built in 1889 by David C. Cook, the founder of the town of Piru. Cook, a wealthy religious book publisher who hailed from Elgin, Illinois, first came to Piru in 1887 after becoming afflicted with a debilitating coughing illness. Doctors suggested that he move to a more temperate climate to ease his lungs and he found that climate in Piru. He purchased 12,000 acres of unincorporated land in the Santa Clara River Valley and in 1887 he built the Colonial-Revival-style property pictured above. That residence is now a bed and breakfast known as the Heritage Valley Inn and it made a brief appearance in 1983’s Twilight Zone: The Movie.
In 1889, Cook commissioned a new home to be built, this one in the Queen-Anne-style, on a parcel of land located just a few blocks up the road from his first home. Although it is not known for sure, it is largely believed that the architectural firm of Joseph and Cather Newsom designed the 12,000-square-foot abode. Cook wanted his new home to be a “second Garden of Eden” and had the grounds surrounding the mansion planted with only those fruits and plants mentioned in the Bible, including dates, pomegranates, figs, apricots, olives, and grapes. Although it was considered to be grand for its day, the original mansion had no electricity, running water, or even bathrooms! Occupants had to use a three-hole outhouse located on a walking path a few yards up the road from the home whenever nature called! Yikes! In 1968, the property was purchased by Scott and Ruth Newhall, owners of The Newhall Signal newspaper. Soon after the couple inherited some money and in 1981 decided to use it to renovate their historic home, but sadly tragedy struck. In February of that year, one of the workers who had been hired to paint the property made the unfortunate decision of using a blowtorch to burn off the home’s numerous layers of old paint. The 92-year-old structure immediately caught fire and burned to the ground. Thanks to a solid insurance policy, the Newhalls were able to rebuild the gutted residence and, using old photographs and workers who had maintained the property over the years as guides, they reconstructed the mansion in the exact form in which it was originally built. In 2003, the home was sold to another member of the Newhall family, David Newhall Hill, who spent the next 6 years renovating and updating it, adding state-of-the-art heating and air conditioning, a security system, and a fire safety system consisting of on-site emergency water tanks and built-in rooftop rain birds. Today, the 4-story home, which sits on over 10 acres of land, boasts 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, and – count ‘em! – 8 fireplaces and is currently for sale for a cool $2.7 million. According to the real estate listing, the property generates over $65,000 a year in film and rental income, so it almost pays for itself!
The GC and I randomly caught a great glimpse of the back side of the property while stalking the trailer park from Burlesque, which I blogged about last Thursday.
In the “How To Make a Quilt Out of Americans” episode of Charmed, the Newhall Mansion stood in for the home of Gail (aka Anne Haney), the evil aunt of the Charmed Ones – Prue (aka Shannen Doherty), Piper (aka Holly Marie Combs), and Phoebe (aka Alyssa Milano).
In the Season 6 episode of The X-Files titled “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas”, the Newhall Mansion was used extensively as the haunted house belonging to Maurice (aka Edward Asner) and Lydia (aka Lily Tomlin) in which Fox Mulder (aka David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (aka Gillian Anderson) get trapped one dark and stormy Christmas Eve night. Scanning through the episode to make screen captures for today’s post I was reminded of what a great show The X-Files was! Man, I used to love it – and its star, Mr. David Duchovny. Until he went to rehab for sex addiction, that is!
In the Season 4 episode of Charlie’s Angels titled “Of Ghosts and Angels”, the Newhall Mansion stood in for the haunted home belonging to Tiffany Welles’ (aka Shelley Hack’s) childhood friend, Erica Burke (aka Robin Mattson).
The mansion also supposedly appeared in two episodes of the original Melrose Place– the Season 7 episodes titled “Lethal Wedding 4” and “When Cheerleaders Attack”. It was apparently used as the wedding location of Dr. Peter Burns (aka Jack Wagner) and Eve Cleary (aka Rena Sofer), but because I have never seen those episodes and because Season 7 is not yet available on DVD, I was not able to verify that. According to the official Newhall Mansion website, the property has also appeared in episodes of Monk, Murder, She Wrote, The Incredible Hulk, Payne, Ping!, and Reno 911.
Big THANK YOU to Chas, from the ItsFilmedThere website, for telling me about this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The Newhall Mansion from Charmed is located at 829 North Park Street in Piru. You can visit the mansion’s official website here. Tours of the property are offered the first weekend of each month. You can catch a glimpse of the back side of the mansion from Warring Canyon Road, just north of Center Street, near the trailer park from Burlesque, which I blogged about last Thursday.