About the Burrage Mansion

Built-in 1901 by mineral magnate Albert Burrage as a holiday home to escape East Coast winters and entertain fellow aristocrats, the mansion has served various owners as a private residence, a convent, and a rental facility for receptions and weddings. More recent proposals for commercial uses of the property and significant subdivision (which would have required demolition of the historic carriage house and caretaker’s cottage and meant the complete destruction of the Burrage Mansion as generations of Redlanders remember it) met with strong justifiable community resistance.

Redlands native Tim Rochford purchased the property in late 2007, not only to preserve the mansion, but also with the intention of dedicating it to noncommercial use that benefits children in need within our community.

When he took ownership, the grounds and structures had fallen into disrepair, many of the orange groves were gone, and many of the 110-year-old and 100-foot-tall trees had died. Restoration and repair work began immediately. Truckloads of dead trees and debris were cleared, stonewalls repaired, and more than 800 drip-watered orange trees planted.

Tim Rochford’s commitment to preserving historical authenticity required custom refurbishing and custom-made reproductions of original structural elements needing replacement.

Today, the beautiful grounds and buildings serve as a sanctuary and place of play and enrichment activities for disadvantaged Redlands children. The mansion is also offered as a venue for local nonprofits that, in turn, serve young children or contribute to historic preservation.


The Redlands mansion, known as Monte Vista, was designed by architect Charles Brigham, who also designed the Burrage residence in Boston and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Built in 1901 on 20 acres at a construction cost of $100,000, it was the most expensive Redlands residence at that time. The 16,000 square-foot main residence, the carriage house and caretaker cottage were built in an amazing four and one-half months by as many as 127 workers at one time.

The mansion is frequently featured in modern architectural textbooks as an exemplar of Mission Revival style, with its “H”-shaped footprint, stucco exterior, red tile roof, arched doorways, and bell towers.

The structure is entirely brick covered with concrete and is surrounded by a veranda on three sides. The Pompeian-style reception room features a marble fountain, terrazzo floor, ten white Italian marble pillars supporting the balcony, and a ceiling of Tiffany glass. The circular dining room is finished in Mexican mahogany, with a trademark Burrage idiosyncrasy: gargoyles, cherubs and human faces carved into the trim.

Chronology of Owners​

Albert Burrage commissioned the 16,000 square-foot mansion to be built on a 20-acre knoll above Redlands in 1901. From that year until 1907, the Burrage family and friends visited the “cottage” for about six weeks each year as a holiday escape from Boston winter weather. The Burrage’s returned in 1916, hosting the social elite to an elaborate party featuring croquet and polo games, horse racing, and dancing in the evenings on a wooden floor rolled out to cover the swimming pool. After that, the family visited infrequently, and the mansion was sold in 1924.

Albert Burrage

Albert Burrage

Albert Burrage | 1901-1926

Albert Burrage was born in Massachusetts in 1859 to George and Aurelia Burrage, decedents of old New England families. When Albert was three years old, his father’s chair-making business was destroyed by fire and the family moved west. Eventually his father was befriended by and became partners with a wealthy landowner who had the good idea of planting vineyards on thousands of acres of what is now Napa Valley.

Edgar Pratt | 1924

Los Angeles attorney Edgar Pratt, a local hotel owner in Redlands, purchased the property in 1924 and sold it back to Alice and Albert Burrage five days later.

Monte Vista Syndicate and Arthur Gregory | 1926-1940

In 1926, the Burrage’s sold to the Monte Vista Syndicate, who planned to merge grounds with adjoining property and build a huge, high-end resort and health spa. The resort was never built and the mansion was vacant for several years. Syndicate member Arthur Gregory purchased the property and allowed Catholic nuns to serve as caretakers and establish a convent there in 1934.

Catholic Church | 1940-1974

Gregory sold the mansion for $15,000 in 1940 to Catholic Archbishop John F. Knoll of Fort Wayne, IN. After some renovation was completed, the Knoll deeded the mansion to the Sisters of the Order of Missionary Catechists of Our Blessed Lady of Victory. The nuns named it “Queen of the Missions” and used it as a convent for another 34 years.

The first subdivision took place in 1954, with the western portion of the property divided into eight parcels fronting Crown Street. Later, an additional three lots fronting Crescent Avenue were also subdivided and sold.

Dr. Cyril D. Blaine | 1974-1987

The mansion was purchased for $174,000 in 1974 by Dr. Cyril D. Blaine, an assistant professor of medicine at Loma Linda University. Dr. Blaine leased it out for several years; tenants Jim and Maribeth Lotito proposed operating a commercial bed-and-breakfast business at the mansion, but were unable to gain community support or city permits.

James & Sharon Fishbach | 1987-1996

In 1987, Dr. Blaine sold the property to James and Sharon Fishbach, who completed extensive restoration used the estate as their private residence.

Dr. Russel Seheult | 1996-2004

Dr. Russel Seheult purchased the mansion in 1996 as a residence for his family. In 2003, he proposed subdivision of eastern and northern portions of the property, as well as demolition of the historic carriage house and caretaker’s cottage. Dr. Seheult’s plans also included commercial use of the mansion for weddings, recitals, and receptions. He, too, was unsuccessful in obtaining the required approvals.

The Rock Church | 2004-2007

The Rock Church, under the leadership of Rev. James Cobrave, acquired the mansion in 2004. Attempts at commercial use and subdivision again failed.


Tim Rochford

Tim Rochford, Executor, Rochford Foundation | 2007-present

Tim Rochford, purchased the mansion in 2007 and immediately undertook preservation and extensive restoration of the grounds and buildings. The Burrage Mansion is now dedicated exclusively to the use and benefit of local, less-privileged children.

Burrage Mansion


Painstaking restoration to its original state of elegance has been completed, and preservation of the mansion for future generations is assured. Acres of terraced orange groves have been replanted, and the view of mansion from West Crescent Avenue is much like it was early in the last century.

But out of sight from the street, the property is transformed into a children’s paradise with a big grass playfield, slides; hiking trails, a low-ropes course; tipis and campfire pit; an activity center, golf course, SnoCone machine (a favorite), and all kinds of toys and sports equipment.

Golf Course​

Kids love learning to drive, chip, and putt with junior-size clubs on this beautiful, artificial-turf golf course, designed by legendary pro-golfer Dave Stockton.


Two 22-foot slides await kids at the end of a hiking trail.

Shaky Bridges

A low-ropes course with four different “shaky” elements develops children’s balance, coordination and team-building skills.


Overnight campers sleep in tipis and roast S’mores at a gas-fired campfire ring. There are showers, restrooms, and picnic tables. The big playfield nearby is a perfect place for stargazing.

Hiking Trail

A meandering hiking trail gives kids a chance to work on their fitness and explore the grounds.

Hidden Springs

Tucked away, out of sight, is a peaceful place for quiet contemplation.

Activity Center

Horse stables built in the 1990s have been converted into an Activity Center, with outdoor toys and sports equipment, a ceramics kiln, an ice machine, the ever-popular popcorn and SnoCone machines, and state-of-the-art restrooms.


The grass lawn of the big playfield is a favorite place to play sports and water games.

Shady Glen​

A small park with barbeque grills and picnic tables provides groups with a reliably shady place for snacks and crafts.​

Bike Trail​

A groomed bike trail that zig-zags through the terraced orange groves gives kids a chance to enjoy off-road biking. (bikes donated by Redlands Police, helmets by Loma Linda Children’s hospital)


The air-conditioned children’s library and movie theater (projector, a giant, pull-down movie screen and blackout window shades painted with murals), with giant bean bag chairs and teddy bears, offers a place for kids to read, imagine, and dream.

Dance Studio

The refurbished original wooden floors and the walls of multiple mirrors make a fun place for dancing.

Computer Lab

Surrounded by galaxies of outer space, kids explore computer technology. (laptop computers donated by Esri)

Art Studio

The art room’s inspiring décor—along with plenty of art supplies—invites young artists to create their masterpieces.

Butterfly Garden

The garden provides opportunity for kids to dig in the dirt and plant seeds, then harvest and eat delicious vegetables.

Camp Kitchen

Children use the residential kitchen for their cooking projects, but sometimes the grownups prefer the camp kitchen’s commercial-size appliances.

Outdoor Chapel

Original rock walls were duplicated in the terraced seating of this serene gathering place.


A covered spot with a beautiful vista of city and mountains invites hot and thirsty hikers and bike riders to stop and rest awhile.