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THE WHITE HOUSE

157 South “J” Street in 1930’s

The “White House” was built in 1912 by Lee Muncy at 157 South “J” Street, next to the Dopkins Mortuary and a half a block west of the high school.  Mr. Muncy owned the plumbing shop of Muncy and Thorp and he, his wife, Lulu, and two sons, Glen and Irwin, lived there for many years.  The lot was purchased from Dopkins.  Owen “Smity” Smith, the Dinuba Fire Chief, lived in the house between 1927and 1942.  In 1945 the house was purchased by the Dinuba Public School District for apartments for teachers when housing was scarce during WW II.  Many Dinuba teachers lived there, including Mr. Voris Peden, who became the high school principal.  In 1961 Martin Patee remodeled the house into offices for the Dinuba School Districts.  At that time the house was nicknamed the “White House” which survives to this day.


Fire Chief “Smity”

In 1982 the DSD offices were moved to El Monte Way and the house was purchased by Evelyn Dopkins Corr.  Two years later Mrs. Corr offered the ADHS the “White House” as a gift, providing that it be moved to Heritage Square.  She planned to develop a parking lot on the property for the Dopkins Chapel.


Back of white house in 1930’s


 

In January 1985 the “White House” was moved from its original location to the Ventura and “K” Street property for $7,500 and in March the foundation was installed for $4,885.  In May 1985, volunteers repaired windows, worked on the exterior and removed outside conduits on the White House.  Tulare County Conservation Corps made repairs at a cost of $7,467.33 in 1988 and 1989.  In March 1989, Tulare County provided $7,599 for architect fees.

 

The White House Library was named in honor of Evelyn Dopkins Corr in March 1990 and in June 1991 the Boroian Art Collection was restored with a value placed at $40,000 - $60,000 and it is now displayed in one of the downstairs rooms.  Also in June the Student Employment Project stripped the downstairs of the White House to its studs.  Construction projects in the White House were begun in November 1992 and were completed in February 1993 at a cost of $128,011.  In August 1999 the outside of the house was painted and was repainted through a Facade Improvement grant in May 2004.

 

Short term exhibits that have been displayed in the white house include;
Photography by Robert Cochran in 1999.
Millennium Quilt Show in 2000.
Cowboy Jubilee with a chuck wagon dinner and exhibit in November 2000. Armenian Cultural exhibit in May 2001.
Depression glass exhibit in September and October 2001.
An exhibit of various collections.
Japanese Cultural Exhibit.
Native American Exhibit in 2003.
Local Schools Art Exhibits in 2003 and every year since.
Mennonite Cultural Exhibit.
Christmas at the White House with themes including “Awesome Angeles”, “Santa Claus is coming to town”, “Christmas in the woods” and “Bring an ornament and call it a party”.
In 2006 a Wedding Exhibit featuring old and new garments worn by local brides and various wedding memorabilia.

 

The White House is used by the ADHS for regular meetings of the board of directors and other committee meetings.  Other groups have also used the house for special meetings and taken advantage of tours through the Depot museum and Heritage Square.  The ADHS offices are on the second floor and arrangements to use the facilities for meetings or to arrange for tours of the White House or the Depot Museum can be arranged by calling the office at 559-591-2144.