The Juana Briones Heritage Foundation

Her Adobe Home
If this house could talk
, it would tell stories of the diverse women, men, and children who have added their labor to build it.  Still standing in the California foothills, the adobe house Juana built begs for further study of its rare building techniques, the native plants and medicinal herbs growing on the property that were part of Juana’s curandera tradition, and potential archaeological finds to learn more about the Ohlone Indians whose early ridgetop settlements made them the first residents of this home site.

There are numerous documents that bring to life the history of the house that Juana Briones built around 1845. Professor Al Camarillo, a Stanford historian, has examined census records, deeds of sale, oral histories, letters, and surveyor’s journals to write an authoritative letter verifying the house’s ownership.  You may view some of the historic documents that highlight this history.

Stanford Historian's Research
"The Juana Briones de Miranda House is a truly unique artifact of nineteenth century California. The construction of the original house is not of the typical adobe brick style commonly used in Spanish and Mexican California. Indeed, it is a rare construction style that involved the encasing of earthen adobe material inside a wooden framing (a crate-like or lathe-like construction).

I have consulted with Edna Kimbro, an expert on historic adobe structures in California who is familiar with the Briones House. She concluded that the type of construction in some of the interior walls of the Briones House contain a 'very rare' style of construction. According to Ms. Kimbro, she knows of only one other structure with a comparable construction style that still exists anywhere in the state (the Search Ranch House in Carmel Valley.)"

~ Al Camarillo, Stanford University History Department

Stanford Historian's Research Paper
~ Printable version
~ pdf version 46kb

Adobe Mud
House Timeline
Honoring Juana
Not Just For Kids

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A handful of adobe - A houseful of history. One woman built it.
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