Skip to content
April 23, 2017 / Linda Hartong

Quirks of Carmel


Carmel’s first residents were artists who fled the San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906.

The first homes were very simple and often self-built. There was a strong sense of community.

The residents often met at the post office in the morning to gather their mail and chat.


So when the Post Office offered to deliver mail to homes with street numbers, the residents decided to decline.

Homes were given names and later geographical addresses to identify them. Thus our address is SW corner of 8th and Lincoln St. Trying to decipher this system is tricky.

The format used for geographical addressing lists the street, cross street, and the number of houses from the intersection.Some enterprising soul has now developed an interactive map of named Carmel Homes. Here is the link.

As one can see there is no ownership of a name so there may be several Acorn Cottages, Aloha, Hideaway, Lanikai, Rose Cottage


and 4 Sans Souci

Certain words pop up frequently such as “Beach”,

Beach Cottage







Sea Castle

There are a multitude of “Casa”


Casa Bonita with Butterfly


Chez Lo




The Little Wooden House


Maison Rustique

and Villa

Other rely on creativity and imagination


Tinker Bell


Sleepy hollow

7th Heaven

Despite all this, UPS and Fed Ex and still find us. Amazing


April 12, 2017 / Linda Hartong


Carmel stone is used extensively in Carmel. You will see it in many historic buildings like Harrison Memorial Library.

carmel stone on Library

It is used in businesses such as Wittpenn’s Antiques

Wittpenn's Antiques


and in countless residences.

Gate House

Once cheap and easy to find, it is sedimentary shale with lovely creamy yellow, rust, orange, and pink and caramel iron oxide striations.

It is typically softer and more porous than other types of building stone and much more likely to degrade with time and exposure to the elements. The Carmel Mission was one of the earliest local structures made from it more than 200 years ago.The Mission has undergone extensive stonework renovation. As you can see this porous quality provides opportunities for small plants to grow in the rock, further eroding it.

carmel stone deterieration on the Mission

I read an article in The SF Gate about the stone and stonemason Michale Mahoney who learned to cut and build with Carmel Stone in the 1970s. Mahoney has been building with the stone since then. He is also a rock guitarist who studies manuals on Moorish arches and builds the chiseling hammers he uses to achieve his hand-hewn work. As a child, he was a bell ringer at the Mission where he watched Harry Downie do his work in restoring the Mission.
Below are some examples of Carmel Stone used in gates,



Conrad Home


carmel stone wall

entry paths and steps,

path, steps and entry 2


path and doorway surround

and facades


facade 3

This home on Scenic is a wonderful example.

house on Scenic

March 27, 2017 / Linda Hartong

The Elegant Calla Lilly

The calla lily is one of the most recognized flowers in cultivation. There are many colors of calla lily, but the white is one of the most used and part of wedding celebrations due to its association with holiness, faith and purity. In Kansas City they can cost up to $10.00 a stem

Carmel 2009 268ready for flickr

So imagine my delight to see them growing wild in Carmel.
The first one I saw was in my own yard in a very inhospitable spot. Then I started to see them popping up along the street like weeds.

Calla Lilly

Calla lilies don’t drop petals like many other plants when their flowers are done blooming. Once the calla flower begins to die, it rolls up into a tube, often turning green on the outside.

Calla Lilly

One day as we were talking with our friend, Melissa Fletscher, she showed us a photo she had taken of a field of wild calla lilies in Garrapata State Park in Big Sur. She gets amazing photos with her phone.

The park has two miles of beach front, with coastal hiking and a 50-foot climb to a beautiful view of the Pacific.
Bill and I hiked there one day but did not get down to the trail near the parking at gate l8. This trail leads down to the beach near Doud Creek where the lilies bloom.

The park offers diverse coastal vegetation with trails running from ocean beaches into dense redwood groves. The park also features outstanding coastal headlands at Soberanes Point.

This is the area we hiked.



Sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters frequent the coastal waters and California gray whales pass close by during their yearly migration.Trails and stairs were introduced in this valley to protect these wild flowers and lilies but visitors oftentimes trample over them especially on weekends.

We are getting ready for a trip to Carmel next week and this is the time the lilies bloom.

If you would like to see some wonderful photos of Garrapata State Park. Follow this link to David Gunbernick’s site.

March 19, 2017 / Linda Hartong

High Tide- A storybook cottage in Carmel


If you have strolled along Scenic Drive in Carmel, no doubt you have noticed this handsome home. High Tide is just outside the one square mile that is Carmel-by-the-Sea, so I have no city hall records to tell me about it.

The house combines many elements of the Storybook Style such as the wave roof and rounded doorways and windows.

Image 2

The smooth stucco is a distinctively California exterior material.

The towers, eyebrow windows, ornamental chimney pots and dutch door all add to the charm.

Image 22

Image 16

Add a cottage garden and you have charm, charm, charm.

Image 4

March 15, 2017 / Linda Hartong

Casanovas Restaurant



Such a charming ambiance. It is still the restaurant we recommend to visitors. We usually go for lunch to keep the cost down.


Bill loves the Moules Frites. Our Grandson swears the Cannelloni is fantastic. I tasted the Gnocchi Casanova on the Carmel Food Tour and believe me …….Delicious.

I love eggs and omelets and if I ask nicely, the waiter can often get the kitchen to prepare one for me.


It is located in the former home of Aunt Fairy Bird who was once the cook for Charlie Chaplin .



Take time to wander through all the different rooms.





March 13, 2017 / Linda Hartong

California Poppies

IMG_0288Although I am no longer posting my elaborate posts, I still have a cache of photos from Carmel that I would love to share with you. So here goes….

From February to September, the California poppy graces California landscapes and gardens. The foliage is ferny and the bloom bold and cheerful.

It is used as a herbal remedy and the pollen was used cosmetically.

In 1903 it became the state flower of  California.IMG_0274

December 7, 2015 / Linda Hartong


This one and two-story Spanish Eclectic style home was built by English -master-craftsman Frederic Bigland. I have featured several of his houses on the blog.

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 1.13.14 PM

The Conrad Home  


And the H. Markham House


It is interesting that no relationship has been established between the two Markhams, whose homes both have a Moorish feel to them, both built by Bigland.

This stately home on two lots, turns its face in toward the courtyard. 

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 4.19.14 PM

I knock in vain at the front door




And then work my way around the house snapping shots.


Kent Seavey notes the flat roof seen over the door is associated with the Moorish influenced design of North Africa and is quite unusual in residential design.

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 4.19.47 PM

As I walk on down the street , I can see the “paired and stepped exterior eave-all chimneys with their lancet shaped tops” that Seavey describes. 

I try the lower gate which I later learn has been close off and made into a corridor with a fountain beside the guest house.

I make my way back around the east side of the house

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 1.18.09 PM

and admire the grilled window


and succulent plantings outside the walled home.




I have noticed an arched gateway.

Screen Shot 2013-05-27 at 4.21.31 PM


I tentatively knock and push the gate open. 

I am now in a “hallway” leading to the courtyard.

Placed along the way is this beautiful tile


And this open-mouthed gentleman who is surprised by my presence.


Wow! What a beautiful courtyard with yet another gated court within it. 


This fountain, the azaleas


And this tile 


Glow against the warm stucco wall.

The garden is quiet and warm.


A guest house sits to the west of the main house, its roof covered with trumpet vine. 


This fountain


And plaque add character.


Everywhere I look is beauty.

IMG_9255 copy

I am out again and on my way pleased to have seen yet another home on the Carmel Historic Inventory.

Nea Ferreira

Só mais um site

Does this make me look like a Widow?

How I deal with grief while I raise three children, work, and remain sane. WARNING: I USE STRONG LANGUAGE.



The Culinary Center of Kansas City

Come visit our website @!


Just another site

Rare, Heirloom & Unusual Plants