George Burlingham & wife Jenny on side of the house. 1993 Fair Oaks Calendar.


Gayle's Art Studio

Location: 4120 Hill Street
Date of Construction: 1898
Builder and 1st Owner: George Burlingham
Present Owner: Gayle Anita - 1970
Architecture: Payday Shack

This old home was one of the first built on Hill Street. It was constructed without framing. The walls are made of 1”x 12” redwood and then assorted clapboard siding was used outside. The kitchen was originally on the back open porch of the house. It was later closed in. In 1910, the side addition was added. An indoor bathroom was also added on to the back porch. The house presently sits on a ¼-acre lot but originally it was a 2-acre parcel.

George Burlingham, the builder and first owner, was a gold miner and he referred to the structure as a “Payday Shack”. After mining fizzled out, George went into citrus farming. He died in 1933, the year of the big freeze. He is buried in the Fair Oaks Cemetery.

The present owner, Gayle Anita, said the house chose her. She first saw the house as she was driving around Fair Oaks. She though it would be a terrific little "artsy house" just right for her and her paintings. She drove off thinking she would like to someday live in it. One day a friend asked her if she would like to take care of some hawks for a friend. Gayle accepted the job and drove over to the man’s house to get instructions for their care. She was very surprised to find that the man rented the house she had seen earlier. She told him that if he were to move, she would be interested in the house. Gayle first rented the house and then eventually purchased it.

There was a carriage or out building on the property next to the house. Gayle wanted to rebuild the structure and make it her art studio. Everyone she asked to do the job wanted to tear it down and build a new one. Gayle wanted to recycle the wood from it so the material would remain part of the structure. She finally found a gentleman by the name of Michael Day who rebuilt the studio as Gayle wanted. She named the studio Raven Hill. Many of Gayle’s fascinating paintings hang on the walls of the studio.

Gayle lived in Manhattan, New York, for 10 years before moving out west. She was a fashion model, a singer, and an artist in her earlier years. She currently works part-time at Pacific Western Traders Gallery in Folsom. For the house, she plans on replacing the windows, rebuilding some of the house and giving it a fresh coat of paint!