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May 29, 2011 / Linda Hartong


As I read “Carmel A History In Architecture” by Kent Seavey  Carmel: A History in Architecture (CA) (Images of America), I spot a photo of a stone cottage named:

Sticks And Stones

and realize it is right down the street from me.

This house has so intrigued me that I have  been known to stand on the bench built outside its fence to try to get some photos.

Now I find that it was built by none other than Perry Newberry.

Perry Newberry was” Carmel” once upon a time. He was a journalist,playwright, and political activist who fought to keep Carmel a village in a forest. In 1922 when he was elected Mayor, he was considered “the greatest force Carmel has ever had for the preservation of its beauty,its artistic identity,and fine community spirit.”- Allan Griffin.  As if that were not enough, he also liked to keep busy designing and building small houses. He favored brick or stone masonry and did the work himself. When possible , he built u-shaped plans on two lots. It is said they often leaked and chimneys did not draw well but their distinct charm made them sell well.

 As I am taking this photo of the house marker ,

a man comes flying out the gate. After I explain myself, I am invited  to join the current owners and their neighbors for a glass of wine. I think Perry would have found kindred spirits in these professors -now retired. They raised their family in this house. The husband is an artist who continues to paint and sell his art. I admit to standing on the bench outside the fence to photograph and find out that he built it after watching an elderly neighbor walk her dog each evening. She seemed to tire in front of his house , so he constructed the bench with the hopes she would sit on it and catch her breath. He was delighted to see her make use of it immediately.

 As the dinner hour nears, the couples go inside and give me permission to photograph from the inside of the fence for a change.  Notice the bells both inside and outside the gate. In Perry’s time , these would have been the “door bells” that would announce visitors.

The art in the garden testifies to their many travels around the world.

The use of succulents in the garden is inspired. They grow well in Carmel and love the lean, sandy soil.

My hostess grows herbs and lemons near her kitchen door and has thoughtfully placed a chalk board and chalk there for messages.

All the doors have  delightful details.

I take a few more shots and exit the front gate with a backward glance.Today as I am reading the Collectors Issue of Autumn Cottage, I am treated to an article showing interior shots of Sticks and Stones. I see that the owner , Joe Tanous, is 86 years old. I would never have guessed it.


Leave a Comment
  1. Miranda / May 29 2011 5:54 am

    Ohhhh Linda! This may be my favorite garden. I have such an obsession with succulents and grow them all over my garden and in containers. these pictures have inspired me to be more creative in how I display my lovelies. And look at her dwarf lemon – love it.
    I am so impressed with how you capture the details in your pictures. You are quite a photo artist.
    Have a great weekend.
    SF Bay Area

  2. jacqueline / May 29 2011 8:28 pm

    I absolutely love this cottage!! How gorgeous are those bells! Wonderful photographs, thank you for sharing..


  3. jeanette sclar / May 30 2011 2:32 am

    Such a fantastic collection of photographs…I believe that you will show up in the next book about Carmel as the woman who met EVERYONE in Carmel on her quest to document all the best!

  4. Carolyn / May 31 2011 12:55 am

    Love this stone cottage! And the succulent garden is impressive. What a charming home and garden. With such artistic homeowners, I’m sure the inside is enticing as the exterior.

  5. Diane Miller Commendatore / Jun 4 2011 12:56 am

    I lived on Perry Newberry (and Fourth street) from (I think) 1944-45 and was interested to find out the name of the person who our street was named after. What I remember hearing is that my Mom bought the 1/4 acre lot there while my Dad was overseas involved in WWII. When my Dad got home from service, they built a small house on that lot and that is where they lived until about 1971 when they were divorced. I went back to see that house some years ago and it had been wonderfully remodeled. But it was a great neighborhood to grow up in, and our street only went for about three blocks. I was tickled to see that Mrs. Cleary, the famous childhood author, lived south of us. There were wonderful neighbors on this street, all the way from the Putnams to the end of the street, my high school art teacher and his friend, JD. I was so pleased to hear about Mr. Newberry. I don’t remember my parents ever telling about who is was.
    Thank you.
    Diane Commendatore

  6. The Millers / Dec 6 2011 3:40 am

    These are lovely photographs and I enjoyed your article. I used to live in Carmel. The Tanous’s were our kind landlords and we always enjoyed visiting the beautiful Sticks and Stones cottage. My 6-year old daughter delighted in the polished glass and stones she would discover in the gardens. Joe and Louise are very inspiring artists and although we no longer live in Carmel, we will always think of them with fond memories of our time in Carmel.

    The Millers

  7. stickandstoneslover / Aug 30 2012 9:30 pm

    this is my grandparents house haven’t been here in so long i almost cried looking at these pictures thank you for taking these pictures i miss being home so much

  8. Tim Dahlberg / Nov 24 2013 12:46 am

    I grew up in Carmel. One of the great cottages I lived in, built by Perry Newberry, was on Vista St. near the tennis courts in the Carmel Woods. It is still there, a whimsical, very small home, made of “cast off” bricks, only 1 and 1 /2 bedrooms. The hall was small and narrow. I understand the Perrys were diminutive people. The master bedroom had two sets of French doors – one opened onto the back yard and the other to the little patio, with a view of the hills, beautiful autumn. It had open beam rafters, hardwood floors, and a beautiful fireplace that drew VERY WELL. It was so tiny but cozy. Long ago days, when Carmel had INTERESTING PEOPLE, artists, writers and actors – very European and UNLIKE the rest of the United States. No other place like it!

  9. J Collins / Jan 3 2014 10:35 pm

    The Tanouses would be lovely landlords.

  10. John M Douglas / Dec 30 2017 7:55 pm

    I have a book called, Castway Island 1922 by Perry Newberry. Would this be the same person?

    • Perry Newberry / Jul 16 2021 9:32 pm

      It is. I am his namesake – Perry Newberry ( I visited Carmel years ago but didn’t know of P.N’s life. I’ll have to go back and visit Perry Newberry Way….

  11. Brianna Dolley / Dec 26 2020 10:02 pm

    When ever I miss my home I come to your site and read every word in this article Joe is my grandfather and this is the one place my heart always feels at home


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