Blue Sky opens renovated McGwinn home for business
The McGwinn house in Historic Downtown has had a long and quiet history in Truckee. Wednesday, it reopened with a new owner – only its third in more than 100 years.
Originally built around 1896 by the Truckee resident Nick Sassarini’s grandfather, it was sold to the McGwinn family in 1918 “for $10 in gold coins,” according to Sassarini.
The McGwinns lived in the house for approximately 81 years, in which the house went through four generations of McGwinns. In 1999, the grandchildren of the first McGwinns sold the house to Truckee’s Blue Sky Homes.
Mitch Clarin, owner of Blue Sky, bought and revived the house, relying mostly on pictures and memories from McGwinn granddaughters Francy and Judy (who have since left Truckee), who grew up in the house.
“The only way this (renovation) was going to work was if Mitch bought it and redid it,” Francy said. “It was never meant to last this long.”
Judy was also exited about Clarin’s renovation. She said she and her sister used to climb out back and sit on the roof, and her and her family used to sit on the porch and wave to people on the trains. “Back then, that was a thrill in Truckee,” she said.
While some things had to be tweaked during the rebuilding process – 100 years of building codes have definitely gone through revisions – everybody seemed happy with Clarin’s final product.
Francy, Judy and Sassarini all agreed Mitch had done an excellent job with the remodel.
Francy said two big changes were the house was moved several feet to the left, and the McGwinn’s had it gray – it is now blue. Also, because the house is now an office, the interior is quite different.
The outside, however, still conjures up memories.
In a touching ribbon-cutting ceremony, Truckee Mayor Ted Owens and Clarin invited Judy, Francy, Sassarini and Frank Titus, (the builder and former owner of the house next door, which is now the old Blue Sky office) to cut the ribbon together.
Owens enlightened the crowd to the fact that Sassarini and Clarin are now neighbors. Also, Owens pointed out that Sassarini left high school to join the military. Last year – many decades later – Sassarini earned his high school diploma.
“I was amazed at the turnout [Wednesday],” Clarin said. “I was very excited that Nick (Sassarini) came down.”
Locals jammed the alley between the two houses and enjoyed a night of history and rejuvenation, catering from the Blue Onion and entertainment from band No Bad Barley and the Railroad Regulators.
Blue Sky will now renovate the old office – the Titus House – and will divide the business by office space into its real estate and construction divisions.
The new Blue Sky office is located on the west end of Historic Downtown Truckee at 10396 Donner Pass Road and the old office is next door. Blue Sky is also on the Internet, at http://www.blueskyhomes.com.
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