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Take a Step Back in Time: Visiting the Fabing-McKay-Spanne House

visit fabing mckay house

Named for the three families who occupied the home, the historic Fabing-McKay-Spanne House in Lompoc is a meticulously preserved Victorian farmhouse. Built in 1875, the home was the first two-story wood residence in Lompoc. While many Victorian homes of the era featured fancy gingerbread trim, stained glass or turrets, the Fabing-McKay-Spanne house was a working farmhouse.

Fabing-McKay-Spanne HouseThe Early Years

Wadsworth Fabing built the home in 1875 on vacant lands in what would become the city of Lompoc. While Mr. Fabing was a visionary, not all agreed that building a home on these lands was a good idea. Dubbed “Fabing’s Folly”, the residents of the valley who did not see a long future for the budding town mocked the home. However, after time, other residents began constructing long-term, permanent homes and the town flourished. A community leader, Mr. Fabing served as the first foreman of the Lompoc Volunteer Fire Department until he sold the property in 1902.

The home’s upstairs remained incomplete during the Fabing’s residence until the McKay family, who had 6 daughters, purchased the home. With so many children, it was necessary for the McKays to finish the home. They added three bedrooms to the upper level of the home and installed a stairway that winds to the second floor.

The Spanne’s, from Denmark, bought the house in 1910 and were the home’s longest-term residents. The home remained in the Spanne family for 56 years until Mrs. Spanne’s death in 1966.

Purchase & Renovation

Demolition of the home was slated in 1968. The Lompoc Valley Historical Society made the decision to purchase the home for $15,000 and named it the Fabing-McKay-Spanne House. Since then, the home has undergone a full renovation and has been furnished to replicate the style of the 1900s.

The Lompoc Valley Historical Society currently owns the house which has been fully renovated and furnished as a true replica of the Victorian style of home. Visiting the home is like stepping back to life in the 1900s. A few of the original pieces of furniture remain in the home, but most furnishings have been provided by the generous donations of local families wishing to have their family possessions preserved.

Visiting the Home

The home includes a Front Parlor that was reserved for entertaining guests and visitors. The room mostly went unused and dust sheets covered the furniture. The parlor today features antique phonographs, musical instruments, sitting couches, lamps, and more.

The home also features a second parlor, where the woodstove is located, which was the sole source of heat. The parlor was were where the family spent the majority of their time. Books line the shelves, and an Aeolian Pump Organ graces the room. Other artifacts include artwork, photographs, and other period pieces.

The dining room, kitchen, and pantry were important rooms in a Victorian home. Like the front parlor, the dining room was also reserved for special guests and occasions, mostly unused in everyday life. Families had meals around the large dining table in the kitchen. Women would find themselves spending a large part of their time in the kitchen, which was where the cooking, laundry, baths, ironing would take place, due to its close proximity to the woodstove. The pantry, located at the back of the home off the kitchen, is the equivalent of the modern mudroom. It served as a cool place to store food and household items.

Preserved in 1900’s style, the bedrooms in the home feature a nursery, a master bedroom, and a children’s room. Vintage furniture, clothing, jewelry, sewing machines, chamber pots, washstands, and more artfully decorate the room.

On your next visit to Lompoc, be sure to stop by the historic Fabing-McKay-Spanne House located at  207 North L Street. The home is open to the public on the 4th Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and on Mondays and Thursdays from 8:30am to 11:00am except major holidays. Visit the historical society website to learn more about visiting hours and special tours.

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