The "Big House" at Mentryville, aka the Pico Cottage, 1961. National Park Service photograph.
When this photograph was purportedly shot, the Alton Manzer family had recently moved into the house (1960-1966).
This photograph is interesting for a few reasons.
The chimney on the left (west) side of the house visible in this earlier, undated photograph contributed by Darryl Manzer
has either just fallen off or has been removed. Why?
Some eucalyptus(?) trees have been recently cut down. Why?
Note the dilapidated condition of the fencing compared to the earlier photograph.
Click image to enlarge
Most peculiar is the incription on the back of the photograph (at right), identifying the structure as the "Oilmen's Hotel." We don't know it to have served as a hotel
or boarding house for oil workers. To the best of our knowledge, the house was owned by the oil company (Standard Oil of California after 1908, Chevron USA after 1977) and leased
to one family at a time that of the oil field superintendent or foreman.
The date is wrong in the penciled notation that that appears to say, "Hotel 1880." The house was completed in 1889.
Pico No. 4 actually "Well No. 4, Pico Canyon Oil Field" is a National Historic Landmark, which would explain why this photograph is in the archives of the National Park Service.
But it wasn't listed until November 13, 1966 so why the 1961 photograph when it looked better before and after?