Loosely rooted in the style initially popularized in England during the later part of the 19th century Queen Anne with its picturesque asymmetric complexity, wraparound front porch, gabled roof and fanciful facades is occasionally combined with other architectural styles. The Architectural Design Competition of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago produced the eminent candidate for local craftsman to achieve the blend. The Colonial Revival style characterized by its rectangular mass, centered entry, bay windows and classical columns adorning the front combine to produce an intrinsic architectural union in the Hattie Mills House.
The two story Hattie Mills house was constructed in 1896 for James and Edith Parmer. James ranked high in the town of Santa Clara working as a resident blacksmith with his own shop at 945 Main Street. Mr. Parmer advertized his business in the local San Jose Mercury Herald as "Blacksmith of the Highest Quality and Commercial Vehicle Builder". Strangely in later life he changed occupations and became a gold miner and Mine Superintendent. The Parmer’s raised three children in their Jefferson Street home; Vera, Lois and Russell.
Mrs. Parmer was widowed in the late 1930’s and sold the house to Marvin M. McDole, an accountant, in 1944. McDole in-turn turned the house over to M.E. (Hattie) Mills when she purchased it in 1952. Hattie lived there with Mrs. Emma Koch for a few years and worked at Agnew State Hospital as a technician. Hattie kept the exterior of her home unchanged so that it mimicked its two adjacent neighbors.