Fred MacMurray’s Enduring Farmhouse Retreat

Fred MacMurray’s Enduring Farmhouse Retreat

(mellow guitar) – Healdsburg was a very,
very quaint small town. And when I say small town, I mean literally the sort of small town that Norman Rockwell would
write about, or paint. I was raised here. I was brought here as an
infant, and I grew up here, and this home has been
a very special place for me all the days of my life. (mellow music) My father was Fred MacMurray, and my mother was June Haver who was a singer, and a dancer, and had a very illustrious career there, and Dad of course had one of the most incandescent careers. He made over a hundred pictures. He did numerous pictures with Walt Disney when Walt was alive; 12 years on My Three Sons. He had quite a career. Dad loved to fly fish. This was his favorite spot
right on the Russian River. When he first walked onto this ranch, it reminded him of Scotland, and he felt immediately at home here. And eventually he was able
to buy the ranch in 1941. The first night when we
would come up from LA, it was very difficult for us
to all sleep the first night, because it was so quiet. And way off in the distance, the sound that was always so comforting to me was the sound of the train. (train whistling) The thing that’s so remarkable
about having a house with a tremendous personality
is that it dictates your mood. I love the staircase
going up to the bedrooms. It’s very narrow; very deep steps. They all creek. Those stairs have incredible personality. The bedrooms were comfortable, and they had a wonderful
smell of redwood, and pine. And we could hear the heater
kick on in the evening, and it was sort of our lullaby
at night to put us to sleep. I used to sleep in the one room that is the smallest of the three. And it was like sleeping in a tree house, because when I would look out the window, I could see all of the trees, and it felt like I was floating like I was in a sea of leaves. (mellow acoustic guitar) In the morning, very hot mornings, I would hear my dad
going from room to room, shutting all the windows, and shuttering up the house
to keep it nice, and cool. It slumbered in the
morning in hot summer days, and was beautiful in the evening. We opened up all the doors, and windows, and sat out on this porch,
and enjoyed summer nights, and in the winter up until about November, then the rain would come, and we were enjoying our
beautiful home inside. The den is my favorite room, because that’s where we spent most of our time as a family. The fireplace is always the centerpiece. I think of all rooms, and I used to sit right in front until my back was blood red, ya know, reading my books, and talking, and I loved that fireplace, and the little window
seat where I would read, and often homework as well. And the paintings. My dad’s Puter collection,
his mule mugs up there, and a lot of books, first
editions, Zane Grey, O. Henry’s. Everything that surrounded us
there lent itself to comfort. My parents didn’t
remodel out at the ranch, or change a lot of the decor, or even move furniture around that much, because in our family, the
furnishings, the favorite chairs, the favorite table, the favorite sofa all were like old pals; old friends, and you don’t unload your
pals, or your friends, especially if they’re doing
what you ask them to do. My parents always loved to cook, and they were in the kitchen all the time. Dad, one time I was doing my homework, this was down in Los Angeles, and he was watching Julia
Child on her television show. And he said sit down, and he told me to sit down next to him, and he said, “Watch her,
you might learn something.” (laughing) Out in our garden today, we have a rose that’s called Julia Child, in honor of Julia, and my
dad’s passion for her cooking, and her approach that cooking
is apart of your life, and can define a lifestyle. There are several, really
beautiful pieces in the kitchen, ane each of course has a story. The dishes that are in the
kitchen, and on the buffet, some originated with the
original family here; the Porters, and have been
added to through the years, and the little kitchen table, my dad loved that kitchen table because
it only cost a quarter. And the reason that it cost a quarter is that there’s a bad burn
mark on the top of it, and he found it some antique store, and of course the piece that
he made, the drain board. It’s a funny thing about my dad, I learned so many things about him, because of what was here at the ranch. He just didn’t talk about his life, or himself, or his childhood. Things came up when would
be discussing other things, because I asked him as
I was washing dishes, how did he know to put a
what they call a lip in it so that the water would drain, and that’s when I learned
that he had washed dishes in a fraternity house as
one of the five jobs he had when he was at Carroll College. I didn’t know that. So that’s how I found out about my father, about asking him things around the house. (soft piano) The porch swing that’s swinging by itself because of this beautiful
breeze right behind me, my dad and I made. The pieces all came, but there
were in a million pieces, and so Dad threw a canvas
out on the front lawn, and we were out there sweating for hours putting this thing together, and finally we got it right. And so we were sitting on it, swinging, to make sure the whole
thing wouldn’t fall down, and we wouldn’t pull any of
the pieces from the roof down, and there was a glint out
in the font lawn here. And Dad, ya know, is
kind of rolling his eyes, he even went like this, and he said, “Go Kate,
go see what that is.” (laughing) Looked like an important piece. So he looked at it, and
he tossed it like this, and he winked at me, and
he said, “Don’t tell Mama.” (laughing) Unfortunately my parents have passed away, and ya know, our family is
kind of scattered about, but I can still hear their voices here. I can still remember conversations. I can still remember holidays. And they will always be here in the walls; in the sound of the wind, ya know, in the smell of
coffee in the morning. (soft piano)

100 thoughts on “Fred MacMurray’s Enduring Farmhouse Retreat

  1. Wow, what a beautiful place, and a truly lovely tribute to family!! I think I'll have to put this town on my bucket list.

  2. MY THREE SONS tv show starring Fred MacMurray. He was such a calming dad on tv, I figured he was the same in real life

  3. Wow! I can tell that she's gonna haunt this house for a while after she passes. I wouldn't be surprised if she has some ghost stories to tell as well!

  4. What a wonderful childhood she had. What a lovely estate!!! The vinyard just takes my breath away. I miss Fred McMurray. He had a lot of class and gave you a warm feeling when he smiled.

  5. Calming place, what an amazing find. Growing up in Campbell Cal my 2 brothers & I would catch some of FM's show My 3 Sons.

  6. Thank you Kate for continuing the love and traditions begun by your Mom and Dad. We just finished watching your documentary about your Dad. Now I really know why I always enjoy your father’s performances. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  7. Heaven on earth ……… A beautiful peaceful life surrounded by nature . Reminds me of when my Mom and Dad were alive , our home was so cozy and lived in .When my mom made you a cup of coffee , in those days Folger's was her coffee it tasted like gourmet . Being the youngest of nine kids I miss our home life back then .

  8. This was so sweet and interesting! I think it's so special that she has this home and such fond memories. It's a lovely home!

  9. I grew up with Fred MacMurray and of course he was my Dad too. Very comforting seeing his beautiful home and stories recounted of family life by his daughter. I get the feeling time is passing and one day it will all be gone what once was. Thank you for the opportunity to catch a glimpse once more of your Dad and those that were close to him.

  10. Great presentation of a lovely property & beautiful house. The porch kitchen at 6:45 is delightful. I'm envious even though i wouldn't want the responsibility of maintaining that much house.

  11. It is a BEAUTIFUL ESTATE….that Mr. Mac Murray used such care, thought to keeping it original…..Sometimes people destroy so much love and history of it's past.

  12. What a blessing to live in a home you grew up in & that is so unchanged. Too many homes are regarded as investments to be altered & improved then cast aside for profit. Lucky house & lucky family to have found each other.

  13. God I wonder how these people do it. Remembering their beautiful memories with people who have passed away without sheding any tears. I cried when I tell story about my mother, even she's just 5 hours away and I'm still in college 😂 That's the perk of growing up in close knitted, loving family I supposse.

  14. Thank you for sharing a glimpse into your family. Loved watching "My Three Sons". Such a beautiful home and property and so nice for you to still have it for the memories.

  15. For awhile, Fred was highest paid actor in Hollywood and the 4th richest person in America. By all accounts I've read, he was a great man. His first wife died of cancer. He was with June for 37 years, untill he passed. I gew up watching him in Diney flicks and on My 3 Sons.

  16. I teared up watching this. How blessed to have such a beautiful home attached to beautiful memories. I don't think I would every leave.

  17. "Like your old pals you dont unload your old pals especially if they are doing what you are asking them to do" beautiful phrase said with a soothing voice

  18. Beautiful!❤ Thanks for sharing. Had no idea. I used to live no far from there and loved that region. I also adored your father as a child:)

  19. Lovely video,and great actor,he is one of thoses actors know matter what he was in you liked, especially the original Flubber,I love Robin William's,but the remake didn't come close to the original, plus what cool guy living Scotland, clearly a man of taste🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🇱🇷

  20. What an extraordinary peek into the life of a Hollywood legend – lovingly recounted by his daughter. Fun fact: MacMurray's best known screen role was not in a feel good Disney movie, but as the helpless victim to Barbara Stanwyck's femme fatale in the classic Noir Double Indemnity. Talk about playing against type.

  21. What a beautiful charming cozy home! Love the bedrooms, the living room and esp. that kitchen with the apple print dishes! I watched this a couple of years ago and had to watch it again and am hoping that this lovely home and vineyard was spared in the recent wildfires around Healdsburg! And she does have a lovely very soothing voice! Loved the movies of the late great Fred MacMurray , a real down to earth guy!! Thanks for sharing houzztv!

  22. what a great video. Seems like the kind of life I would LOVE to have had. I'm jealous, and at the same time I;m very happy for you. Thanks for sharing

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