Reactions to news of the death of longtime Citrus Heights resident James Wheeler and his 1940 home at the corner of Mariposa Avenue and Old Auburn Road drew a variety of responses from readers over the past week.
Here’s what readers have been saying on The Sentinel’s Facebook page:
Kris H. — That poor man, to die alone in his house. Every day and night, people driving and passing by his home not knowing that poor Mr. Wheeler was there in this house. Too bad I didn’t know Mr. Wheeler, I would have loved to have stopped by his house every day to check on him, to sit and listen to him tell stories of his past and maybe buy some groceries, or even helped him with his chores or just stopped by just “to be his friend.” My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Wheeler’s family & friends, and God Bless you Mr. Wheeler, you were a good man and I am sure a good friend to many. Rest in peace Mr. Wheeler… Turn the 3 acres into a park and dedicate and name it Wheeler Park, as a dedication to the Wheeler Family seeing as the family build the house in 1940.”
Tanna L. — Should have been condemned years ago. It’s so bad. I pass it every day to and from work the last 10 years. Honestly it’s sick someone lived in it.
Alison T. — I would’ve loved to hear all the stories. So much lost history. I always wondered about the family that lived in this house. I don’t care how old it looks, it’s a beautiful simple little house. As a kid, I wanted to live there, heck I still would love to live there. I’ve always been drawn to this house.
Drew L. — I don’t know him. I don’t know the family. I don’t care because his death doesn’t effect me personally. I can’t and others shouldn’t be sympathetic to every single persons plight; it’s unrealistic. The house makes the city look horrible and in my opinion the “broken windows” theory applies to this house. For those that might actually care, start a go-fund-me page or petition for the city to buy the land, build a park/library/after school center/etc. on that land and name it after the family. Until then, the house is a blight on the city and should be demolished immediately. No apologies here.
Kathy R. — I know it was an eyesore to the community, but all of us yourself included could at least try to have empathy for others. One day we ourselves could be in a situation not of our choosing.
Annette A. — We can have empathy for Mr. Wheeler, but what’s sad is even when he was younger that house has always looked like that I’m sorry. I used to walk to San Juan high school I passed by that house every day in the 80s and it look the same way I am very saddened that he passed away my mom just passed away so my heart goes out to him and if he does have family I’m so very sorry… that house is so old it’s always look like that it probably needs to be torn down or hopefully somebody can remodel it it’s a landmark for sure. R.I.P. Mr Wheeler
Heather E. — When are the Citrus Heights police going to get rid of the squatters? They are living out of vans and making a house out of the front yard and who knows what else is going on there. Tear the house down!
Ted P. — I sold this man and his son vehicles about 30 years ago. A white and red Ranger, and I believe an Aerostar. I don’t remember there being a wife. I suspect the son is who recently died, the old man some time before. I’d always check it out as I drove by, and would see at least the Ranger in the driveway. They had quite a large Kiwi “plantation” on the Mariposa frontage at one point. That’s what the structure was for – I remember talking with them about it. Nice folks, and yes, eccentric.
See original story: What’s going on with that run-down home at Old Auburn and Mariposa Ave?
Lisa G. — I saw this house there for 28 years when I lived off of Old Auburn. Rest in peace Mr. Wheeler. The property would make a fantastic park in the area, could really use one. Citrus Heights do the right thing give these people a park over there.
Edith B. — It was a beautiful well kept home years ago. They grew kiwi and had fruit trees. It would be beautiful again if it could be saved.
Debbie G. — Disgusting how the county takes possession. Just not right