John H. Boardman House

The home at 223 Fair Oaks, beautifully painted, is in the very characteristic San Francisco Stick Style. Its rectangular bay holds windows topped with trefoiled (three-leafed) keystones. The bracketed portico is topped with a sawn balustrade, and it, along with the cornice, are decorated with buttons and corner pilasters, terminating at the top with bracket extensions. A side bay is visible from the driveway, admitting further light and air into the middle rooms.

The water application for this home is dated December 6, 1883, and was registered to John H. Boardwell. By all accounts, this last name appears to have been incorrectly written. All other indications show the home as having been built and owned by John H. “Boardman.” This house, previously addressed as 215 Fair Oaks, boasts a carriage house in the back of the property.

Mr. Boardman appears in the 1876-1877 directory as a driver for E. Bax & Co., a coffee, tea and spice dealer. Around 1880 he went to work as a salesman for McCarthy Bros., a firm that ran a coffee and spice mill in San Francisco. Just prior to building this house, Mr. Boardman lived across the street at 216 Fair Oaks, and also lived at 1711 Fillmore for some years prior. Mr. Boardman finally moved to a new home at 2521 Van Ness Avenue in 1903. At that time, he was himself a successful tea and coffee merchant.