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February 19, 2011 / Linda Hartong

FABLES- A Fairytale Cottage

How can one not be charmed by the fairy tale cottages built by Hugh Comstock.

When his wife’s inventory of “Otsy-Totsy” dolls overran their home she pleaded with him to build  her a cottage to use as a show room.


Image courtesy of Google Images

Hugh was neither a builder nor an architect, but he loved to draw and tinker. He designed and built with Mayotta a whimsical little cottage, Gretel, on Torres near 6th, inspired by the watercolor illustrations of the British children’s book illustrator Arthur Rackham.

Carmel is home to over 20 wavy-roofed classic cottages built by Hugh Comstock in the 20’s & 30’s. Go to the Carmel Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center for a list of locations.

I became slightly obsessed with finding all the Comstock Homes in Carmel. I found most of the cottages and photographed them but “Fables” eluded me. When I finally located it , it was so hidden behind foliage that I could not get a photo of it.

This last time we were in Carmel the brush had been cleared. So I took my shots.


Like most of the Comstock Cottages, Fables has a steep roofline and a Carmel stone chimney. It also has an attached garage which was very unusual in 1928 when it was built.

The living room is two stories high and graced with the huge bay window. The house cost about $2,100 when it was built and would sell today for over $1,000,000 and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, as are many of the Comstock homes.

The entrance is on the south side of the home and is reached by walking down a flight of stairs to the stone patio which is interlaced with iridescent abalone shells.


As I have mentioned before, trees take precedence over homes in Carmel. You can see that the steep roof just clears this large branch of an oak tree.



synonyms: castle in the air





Whoever named this house chose well.



Unless otherwise stated, all photographs are copyright (c) Linda Hartong. All rights reserved.

You may not use any image on this site without my written consent. If you are interested in using a photo from my website for any purpose, please send me a quick message and let me know which photo(s) you are interested in.



Leave a Comment
  1. Monica d / Feb 21 2011 2:52 pm

    Over $1 million?! Wow – that’s a great investment return for the original owners.
    Are all the homes in Carmel that expensive? It looks like a lovely whimsical place to live but that’s quite rich. Unless I win the lottery, it’s out of my price range. I will have to settle for just visiting. It’s on my “list of places to see”. In the interim, I am loving the photos and the virtual tour your blog offers.

  2. jeanette sclar / Feb 22 2011 5:27 pm

    Fantastic find!!

  3. Julie Branch / Apr 11 2012 2:23 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing these photos! I have never been to Carmel but after seeing these MUST make a visit! I am a dollmaker and am delighted that one woman making dolls inspired an entire village of incredible homes! Thank you, thank you!

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