As I walk down to the beach from our cottage, I pass this wonderful old Craftsman- style home
with a large star-shaped feature
( a little like the one further down the street at La Playa).
It has changed identities several times since we have lived in Carmel. It was a “B and B” ,
then for sale, and now appears available for short-term rentals.
One day while I am reading Kent Seavey’s Carmel: A History in Architecture (CA) (Images of America) I find the house is built in 1906 for writer and patroness of the arts, Josephine “Nana” Baker.
and George Sterling,the uncrowned “King of Bohemia”,
are among her guests.
The home continues as a focal point for the arts until 1946,when, under the ownership of Harold and Miriam Brown , it becomes a visitor accommodation.
holds week-long photographic symposium on the site and
Ansel Adams is a regular visitor.
Wow! So much history two blocks away.
So today I vow to explore this home. I love the porch on the east side with built-in benches on each side covered by a large pergola.
The hydrangea are in full bloom.
I knock and leave my card and then approach one of the handsomest gates in Carmel.
The path is interplanted with sweet alyssum and lobelia. The alyssum gives up its sweet scent with every step I take.
The main entrance to the home in on the west side.
Now this is a PORCH.
It is glassed in, well furnished
and lighted by these bird-cages made into lamps
Gifts from the sea adorn the windows.
If I could see thorough the walls I would be looking into the living room from this floor plan.
Although sketches represent it to look like this
This view is more current
And this is the sun room to the right, flat screen and all.
I descend the stairs and continue around the house on the gravel path.
On the east side I see fuchsia, acanthus
and dahlias in bloom.
From the floor plan, this side has the dining room
And the kitchen.
Very handy to the lovely patio on which I stand.
Looks like guests can even grill outside.
The upstairs looks like this
And has all the bedrooms
Many of which named after “the Bohemians ” who met there.
Lovely as it is, I wish I could step back in time and see London, Austin, Sterling and Lewis , young and full of life, enjoying each other’s company in this house totally unaware of what life will hold for each of them.
London will write such works as “The Call of The Wild”, White Fang”, and “The Valley of The Moon” and will die in 1916 on the sleeping porch in a cottage on his ranch. He is in extreme pain from uremia and taking morphine which may have contributed to his death.
Austin will write “The Land of Little Rain” among other works and will die in 1934 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Sterling will become a poet not well-known outside of California . He carries a vial of cyanide for many years and finally in 1926 uses it at his residence in the San Francisco Bohemian Club.
Lewis goes on to be the first American writer awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, writing such works as “Main Street”, “Babbitt”, and “ Elmer Gantry”. He dies in Rome in 1951, aged 65, from advanced alcoholism.