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 historical preservation.