Angela Lansbury’s Victorian in “Murder, She Wrote”

It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing her now! When I was searching for interior set photos from the show, I came across some screenshots like this that some fans had fun with:

Let’s just say I’d think twice before inviting her to a party at my house because trouble always seems to follow. As for the town of Cabot Cove, according to   “The Harbor of Fort Bragg was filmed for the docks, exterior pub/bar dressing decorated wharf buildings; interior restaurants above the harbor were also filmed as Cabot Cove sights. Visit my TV Movie Houses page to see more, including…

The Real Stars Hollow

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Mendocino California,
Murder She Wrote,
set design,
The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,
The Blair House Inn,
TV trivia,
Universal Studios backlot,
white Victorian house

Are You Hooked on Houses? According to the Blair House website, “Many of Mendocino’s early settlers, including Blair House owner Elisha Blair, were from the eastern seaboard. If you watched the long-running mystery series   Murder, She Wrote,   then you were probably charmed by both the small town of Cabot Cove, Maine, that Angela Lansbury’s character Jessica Fletcher lived in, and   her lovely white Victorian. They also named their largest room “Angela’s Suite” in honor of Murder, She Wrote’s lead actress Angela Lansbury. The framing and flooring are Douglas Fir, the walls and foundation are virgin, clearheart Redwood, which today would be prohibitively expensive, helping to explain the home’s excellent condition.”
I found these current photos on   their site taken by Garth Hagerman, and it’s even prettier today! At the beginning of the series, Jessica was always pounding away at an old-timey manual typewriter:

But in later years she upgraded to a computer:

Other movies that were filmed in Mendocino include   East of Eden, The Russians are Coming, and   Overboard. Here’s how Jessica’s house looked on TV:

In real life,   it’s   a bed and breakfast in Mendocino called The Blair House Inn. While doing the research for this, I found   a fun article about one man’s journey to see it in person that you can read   here. I decided to track them down, and this is what I found…
The show   was actually filmed north of San Francisco in Mendocino, California — not Maine. During filming, local buildings were transformed into Cabot Cove businesses simply by changing the exterior signs.”

Kids, our phones used to have cords on them! The interiors of this house were filmed, redressed, repainted, redecorated, for many of the episodes for other story scenarios.”

You can see more photos of   The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas   chicken ranch   on the Universal Studios backlot known as Colonial Street   here. Jessica never drove on the series. Were you a fan of the show? I was surprised to find how few episodes actually take place at her house. Lansbury   received Emmy nominations every year the show was on but never won. I found this wonderful old photo of the house and its neighbors on their website   that shows the old water tower that used to stand behind it:

It was built in 1888   for Elisha Blair and his family by Oliver Johnson, a prominent local carpenter and builder. I watched numerous episodes from every season of the show possible to get as many interior shots of the sets as I could to show you. You can see how the house looks now and some of the (real) interiors at Blair House Inn. At Universal Studios’ back lot, the Jaws Lake attraction was filmed as the exterior village.”

And as for Jessica’s house: “The exterior Victorian Best Little Whorehouse set, relocated from stage 12 feature filming, to a hill area on the back lot, was a stand-in for the Mendocino Victorian.

Updated: 16.12.2014 — 02:05