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Welcome to the Ashworth Remillard Historic Home

There is an old White House in San Jose that is much more than just a house.  It has been a home to many and has many a story to tell.

This website was created for those who are interested in discovering the history of the house. Here you will find the stories it holds, as well as its plan for the future.

We hope you find its history interesting and come for a tour. This house has been preserved by the three previous owners and it is now the community’s obligation to continue its preservation.

 

Welcome.
Please, step inside…

Sue’s Promise

The story of Sue’s Promise

Sue grew up on the East-Side of San Jose and never took the opportunity to notice and “explore” this property until February 2007.

As a Brick Collector, she spotted a mound of bricks, outside a soon to be condemned, terrible smelling house.  She sought out the owner (in no better shape) and asked for a brick from his pile.  He responded with “I’ll give you 2 if you come back and check on me tomorrow”.  She thought a second and agreed.  She took one brick and returned for the second the next day.  He then asked for help.  She agreed to a payment in bricks.  Pretty soon, she owned about 400 of those bricks.

Her story was summarized by the Mercury News in September 2010.  It gave the public a window into the history of this Historic Site.  To Sue, this was the toughest job she has ever taken.  But you’ll get an understanding of what was another “Old Person to Help Project”.

Trust

The  Development of the Trust

As Covey and Sue developed a plan for him to return to living in his home, there were things to do. Agreements to make.

They worked hard to get the place un-condemned.  He upgraded her Power of Attorney anytime she was denied (public) assistance on his behalf.  They became friends, almost a kind of weird, extended family, that included all the neighbors without homes.  It was obvious that some of these neighbors were the reason Covey was even alive when she met him.  He had a few good people really caring and looking out for him.  To this day we still thank those from the house-less community who cared for him like family.  We still see them now and again.

Covey was always concerned about the area’s house-less or others in need. He and Sue butted heads but came to another agreement: that allowed him to help, with her management and priority.  Covey was the priority.  It was time for those who were able, to give Covey a hand. It was great to see the people he had given a bite to eat, come back to rake, sweep and pick up garbage.

It was during this first year that Sue realized Covey actually needed to do something about his Will (OR anything but nothing).  Covey replied that she was his agent and she would be able to figure it out.  Time for another understanding and agreement!  After a few too many revisions, they had a working agreement.   Sue owned 6,000 bricks.  Fine.  End of discussion.

Covey was done and he dismissed his agent (Sue).   He was like that sometimes.

Later, Covey thanked her for her help and asked; “See you tomorrow?”

It would be months before she could get him to discuss the issue again.

He stated his wishes for his property and wanted his wishes secured.

The most important wish was to live at the house until he died.  The only way he wanted to leave was “feet first”.

Eventually, they started with a general Trust for the property,  intending to allow a remote family member (The Beneficiary) to Protect and Preserve the property, NOT TO SELL OR DEMOLITION the property.  The family member (The Beneficiary) would enjoy the property for the remainder of their life.  After their death, the property would be put into a Historic Trust, under a previously established non-profit organization, the ASHWORTH REMILLARD HISTORIC SITE, 501(c)3.

Since there was a lack of Interest from the extended family of (The Beneficiary), Mr. Covey did not think (The Beneficiary) would have the SUPPORT (moral or physical) to manage the Trust by herself.  Therefore, Covey assigned the job of Trustee to Sue, along with his Durable Power of Attorney, to ensure that his wishes were accomplished.  (The Beneficiary) would have access to the home during her lifetime.   She was given all the personal family items that were important and requested by herself.  The home site was to be maintained for her use.  (The Beneficiary) would continue to be the backup POA and Trustee, during her lifetime.

Covey started allowing tours of his house, in order to meet and greet local Citizens and Organizations that would (in Covey’s mind) be candidates to take over the Historic Organization after his death.  Sue, on the other hand, was really hoping to find her hands-on replacement.

Covey died a month after the first tour.  His death came almost four years after Sue met him, and almost three and 1/2 years longer than she thought he would survive, based on the condition she found him in.

His wish to die in his home was granted.

Rest in Peace, Joseph Covey

 

Contact

How to contact staff at the Ashworth-Remillard House.

If you have questions, concerns or suggestions please write to:

Ashworth Remillard NPO
Joseph J. Covey Trust
c/o
Sue Cucuzza, Trustee/Director
755 Story Rd.
San Jose, CA 95122

or email:

sue.cucuzza AT ashworth-remillard.org