M.E. Helme House Furnishing Company and Helme-Worthy House
M.E. Helme House Furnishing Company dates to 1904 and is the only surviving commercial building with the original Western Falsefront architecture remaining in southern and central Orange County. Both the M.E. Helme House Furnishing Company and the adjacent 1888 Helme-Worthy House, which was the home of Huntington Beach's fourth mayor, Matthew Helme, were listed on the National Historic Register in 1987 and are undergoing restoration. The M.E. Helme House Furnishing Company operates today as an antique store.
Backstory and Context
Matthew Helme, and his wife, Mary Josephine, were prominent citizens both for bringing the seaside village's first furniture company and also for Matthew's role in the community's development. Helme fought for the incorporation of Huntington Beach and was elected to the town's first city council, then known as the board of trustees. He worked to get a community water system, a modern fire department, and a street paving and lighting program. After Helme was elected as mayor in 1916, gas street lights were placed along Main Street to the city limits and Main Street was paved, as was Ocean Avenue (Pacific Coast Highway) from First Street to Twenty-third Street. This major effort for the township recognized the change in methods of transportation from street car, train, and buggy to automobile.
The Helme-Worthy residence was moved by mule team from 5th and Verano streets in rural Santa Ana to its current location in 1903, just prior to the construction of the M.E. Helme House Furnishing Company. The Helme's daughter, Amy, married Lawrence 'Boots' Worthy in 1916. They took up residence in the home in 1924, shortly after the oil boom hit Huntington Beach.
In between the M.E. Helme House Furnishing Company building and the Helme-Worthy House is a structure with a stone facade, once a tool making shop or blacksmith shop. Embedded in the sidewalk in front of the M.E. Helme House Furnishing Company are the iron hitching rings used in horse and buggy days.
The M.E. Helme House Furnishing Company building is an antique store today, operated by the pioneer descendants of the Worthy family.
Helme-Worthy store and residence. National Park Service Digital Assets. . Accessed March 15, 2018. https://npgallery.nps.gov/nrhp. National Register of Historic Places
Urashima, Mary Adams. National Register-listed M.E. Helme House Furnishing Company and Worthy House. Historic Huntington Beach. August 26, 2012. Accessed March 20, 2018. http://historichuntingtonbeach.blogspot.com/2012/08/historic-walking-tour-6-me-helme-house.html.