The Mills View House from “Picket Fences”Oct 3rd, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
Well, my fellow stalkers, it is finally that time of year again, the month I look forward to all year long – October! With it comes fall leaves, cooler temperatures, and my favorite holiday of them all, Halloween. And you know what that means – I will once again be devoting the entire month of blog posts to locations having to do with Haunted Hollywood! First up is the Mills View house, a Monrovia-area property that I learned about way back in March from a journalist named Toni Momberger who interviewed me for an Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspaper article she was writing about famous movie homes. Toni told me that she had toured the huge, Victorian-style abode as part of her research for the article and she was shocked to discover that I had never before heard of the place. As fate would have it, the house had been featured prominently in not one, but two spooky productions over the years, so I figured it would be the perfect start to my Haunted Hollywood theme and I dragged the Grim Cheaper right on out to stalk it a few weeks back.
The 5-bedroom, 2-bath, 3,140-square-foot Mills View house, which was built in 1887 by architects Luther Reed Blair and Uriah Zimmerman, was originally situated on a 5-acre plot of land on what was then the corner of Banana Avenue (now Hillcrest Boulevard) and Melrose Avenue. The Eastlake-Victorian-style home was commissioned by William N. Monroe, the founder of Monrovia, as a wedding gift for his son, Milton Monroe, and his new bride, Mary Nevada. Construction on the property began in May of 1887, shortly after Milton and his wife were married, and was completed a mere seven months later. Sadly, the Monroes divorced a short time after tying the knot and ended up selling their wedding home to Colonel John H. Mills and his wife, Elizabeth Cook Mills, in 1893. The Mills dubbed their new residence “Mills View” because on a clear day the island of Catalina was supposedly visible from one of the third floor windows. Unfortunately, Colonel Mills passed away only three months after moving into the home and it went through several ownership changes after Elizabeth subsequently died in 1905. Mills View, which boasts numerous stained glass windows, a third floor attic, hardwood flooring throughout, and five fireplaces with original tilework, became a Monrovia City Landmark on June 4, 1996.
According to this Monrovia Patch article, Mills View has appeared in over 20 productions since 1980 alone. Sadly though, I know of only two – both of which, as I mentioned above, fit the thriller genre. And the property definitely does give off a spooky vibe in person – I think primarily due to its gargantuan size – so it is not very hard to see why location scouts have flocked to it over the years.
In the Season 1 Halloween-themed episode of fave show Picket Fences titled “Remembering Rosemary”, Mills View was where Rosemary Bauer committed suicide ten years prior by jumping out of a third-floor window, and where Sheriff Jimmy Brock (aka Tom Skerritt) and his deputies Maxine Stewart (aka Lauren Holly) and Kenny Lacos (aka Costas Mandylor) returned to investigate the case after deciding to re-open it a few days before Halloween.
I am fairly certain that the real life interior of the house, which you can see some photographs of here, was used in the episode.
Mills View was also the primary location used in the 1986 horror flick House. In the movie, it was the haunted property that mystery-writer Roger Cobb (aka William Katt) inherited from his Aunt Elizabeth (aka Susan French). According to the House production notes, for the onsite filming, which lasted two weeks, production designer Gregg Fonseca repainted the exterior of the property and added Victorian gingerbread detailing, a few spires, a wrought-iron fence, and a sidewalk. At the rear of the residence, he covered up the home’s real life clapboard siding with a fake brick edifice and added some much-needed landscaping.
No filming took place inside of the actual home, though. For all of the interior scenes, a replica of the house, which included two full stories, a living room, a den, a staircase, and three upstairs bedrooms, was built on a soundstage at Ren Mar Studios in Hollywood.
And I am fairly certain that the pool shown in the movie was either a fake built on the property solely for the filming or that a second location was used, as Mills View does not currently appear to have a pool.
Two very lucky British House fans were given a personalized tour of Mills View last year and wrote a great blog post about it which you can check out here.
On a Halloween side note – I was finally able to dig up a photograph of me dressed up as Agent Dana Scully for Halloween one year during college, which I had mentioned in the blog post I wrote about meeting David Duchovny back in June. The only picture I could find, though, was not a very good one as my eyes are closed in it. Ah well. That is my good friend Alex, who was dressed up a Parrothead, posing with me.
While going through boxes at my parents’ new house looking for the Dana Scully picture, I also stumbled upon my Fox Mulder doll, which I could NOT have been more excited about! I am so going to have to stalk DD again and get him to sign the doll for me. How incredibly cool would that be??
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: Mills View, from the movie House and the “Remembering Rosemary” episode of Picket Fences, is located at 329 Melrose Avenue in Monrovia.