Historic Bee-Bennett House on Bee Street
Mary and Judge Bennett
Mary was one of four children of the late James P. Anderson, pioneer, settler, gold miner, political figure, and surveyor who laid out the original surveys for the City of Placerville. Mary was born on November 7, 1861, and attended schools in Placerville. She became the bride of a young Harvard University graduate, Marcus P. Bennett on January 26, 1881. Marcus became an attorney, who later served many years as Superior Judge of El Dorado County. Judge Bennett died in 1925. Mary died February 25, 1952.
Mary Bennett was active in church, clubs, and civic affairs in the community, and was one of the earliest members of the Shakespeare Club. She had a wide range of cultural interests. Mrs. Bennett took great pride in the history and development of Placerville and the county.
The Bennett family brought up five daughters. Their only son, Marcus P. Bennett Jr., died at the age of three. Mary and Judge Bennett, arranged for transfer of title of Recreation Park, adjoining the present El Dorado High School property, to the public as a memorial to their son. The park has since been improved as one of the major recreation areas within the city, with a large portion of its use given over to physical education and sports activities of El Dorado High School students.
Bee-Bennett Mansion, 643 Bee Street, Placerville CA
This historic building was originally built by Colonel Frederick A. Bee, pioneer merchant and founder of the Bee Telegraph Company, the first trans-Sierra telegraph. In 1889, the home on Bee Street was bought by Judge Marcus P. Bennett. Judge Bennett expanded the old house into a 16-room mansion, using redwood hauled down from Oregon by freight wagons. In 1958 it was purchased by the Elks, Placerville BPOE Lodge 1712, to use as its meeting hall. The Elks did some remodeling with most of the home's original beauty preserved. In 2001, the mansion again changed hands. Today it is the site of one of Placerville’s newest restaurants, the Sequoia Bee-Bennett House. The Sequoia Bee-Bennett House, is an up-scale restaurant and event center hosted in the restored historic Victorian Mansion. The current management offers “21st century service in a restored 19th century setting.”
Source: Mountain Democrat * February 28, 1952, Page 1Mountain Democrat * March 3, 1986, Page 17www.newspaperarchive.comSequoia Literature Brochure, 2004Photo taken February 18, 2004 by Bob Darling Photography