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January 28, 2012 / Linda Hartong

Hugh Comstock- Floorplan for Fables Cottage

On June 5th, 1928, Hugh agrees to build yet another residence for W.O. Swain.

Fables, as it is later named, is estimated to cost $2,600 and build in 2 months time.

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.

The living room is two stories high and graced with the huge bay window.  I find the floor plans at City Hall and include them here for us. The first floor is the living room with its inviting fireplace and practical wood box. 

 Joanne Mathewson writes that “from the top of the staircase inside, you have a full view of the beam work, and the living room below.

The tiny kitchen has a dutch door that opens to the west, cooler, sink and dining nook.

 The upstairs balcony leads into a bedroom with Dormer windows.”

The entrance is on the south side of the home

and is reached by walking down a flight of stairs

to the stone patio  interlaced with iridescent abalone shells.

I have no idea how many owners Fables has had but I am aware that some work is being done to spruce it up when I photograph it in July of 2010 

I find an old listing on the internet that gives me more information and the small interior photos above.  

The listing suggests that I “ picture myself snuggled up to the original Carmel stone fireplace and dream about my own search for the perfect Carmel getaway”. It informs me that this 2 bedroom, 2 bath light-filled cottage is 927 sq.ft. The plans on file at City Hall show just one bedroom and bath

but this elevation suggests that the 2nd bedroom and bath may now be in what was the garage.

Such a charming little cottage. Of all the Comstock cottages, this is the one I can picture myself living in.


Leave a Comment
  1. Carolyn / Jan 28 2012 2:04 am

    Yes, this one has been in my files for awhile. Love the bayed living room. If the second bedroom and bath is where the garage was, I wonder why they didn’t change out the garage doors for windows? To keep the original elevation intact, perhaps. I would guess the bath/closet area would be at that end, so probably didn’t want windows. There were three sets of windows in the original garage, anyway, which you wouldn’t find today in a garage. I wonder if that stained glass window beside the front door is original? It’s not shown as such on the plans. I wish the updated kitchen were a little less bland. It’s always fun to see how the house was planned originally.

    • Roger / Dec 9 2015 8:16 pm

      A friend just forwarded the link to “Fables”. I used to own in back in the 70’s and I’m the one that put in the stained glass windows (Gemini window by the front door, owl at the staircase landing and the alpine scene in the bathroom. I bought the home in 1976 from Lyle Fox who was Gregory Peck’s stunt man and paid $67,500. When I had it I used the garage as a garage and parked my rather beat up Porsche speedster in it. If anyone wants more history on “Fables” they can contact me at

      • Linda Hartong / Dec 11 2015 1:28 am

        Thanks for adding to the story.

  2. Annie Westlake / Jan 28 2012 9:59 am

    This has been one of my favorites of the Comstock cottages. I don’t know if I could take that steep stairway every day though. Oh well, somebody else bought it, and I will have to look elsewhere. (sigh). The background information you gather for us is fascinating. Thank you again.

  3. tammy j / Jan 29 2012 6:30 pm

    the most beautiful words in this entire beautiful post… are those big ones in bright red…
    “protect all trees during construction.”
    i live in a part of the country that does not value trees. and trees are sacred to me.
    here, a developer is allowed to literally bull-doze the trees down. they scrape the earth and build these horrible monstrosities and then go back and plant twigs. i have been known to cry when driving by that kind of scene. when you see them piled high and know that they were perfectly healthy and giving us oxygen and absorbing our idiotic carbon monoxide… well. that makes those beautiful red words even more poignant.
    here, it’s all about the money. and expediency. i come to carmel by way of this blog, to soothe my soul!

  4. Greg Anderson / Feb 13 2013 2:53 pm

    “Fables” was my Grandpa’s vacation home from 1988-2009. I enjoyed staying there many times. He sold the cottage for $795,000 in 2009.

    • Greg Anderson / Feb 13 2013 2:57 pm

      The previous owner of “Fables” was former Apple CEO John Sculley.

  5. Linda Hartong / Feb 13 2013 3:12 pm

    Greg thanks for the information. I love it when readers add their memories.

  6. Roger and Kathy Sanger / Mar 25 2013 3:56 pm

    We are the present owners of “Fables”. We bought it in 2010. It has had many owners over the years and regrettably not well cared for. We decided to renovate it without changing its historical character as a cottage. As you know, you cannot change the outside appearance of an historical Carmel house. So, it needed a new roof and exterior painting. The driveway had deteriorated and the wall on the north side of the driveway had collapsed. All of this was restored. The garage had been converted years ago to a bath/laundry room and second bedroom/office years ago but with poor construction. The windows through the house were original but needed restoration. So, the entire inside of the house was restored as well as updated electrical, heating, plumbing, floors, earthquake support, etc. We live here and in Sun Valley, Idaho. The ocean view from the kitchen and upstairs master bedroom still is there and very enchanting. It is great to see so many Comstock owners restoring these treasures to their former glory. We appreciate the attention that people have paid to this part of Carmel history and we appreciate blogs like this keeping us updated. We enjoy the many visitors that stop by to take a picture and chat with us if we are here.

    • Linda Hartong / Mar 25 2013 8:39 pm

      Thanks Sangers for adding the above information. Fables is a treasure and I am so glad you restored it. These fairytale cottages have really found a place in people’s hearts

    • Greg Anderson / May 14 2013 12:43 am

      Roger and Kathy,

      Sorry to hear that you had to put so much into restoring “Fables.” My grandpa was do it your-self kind of guy back then and I don’t think he did much to the house. I think he converted the garage into the living room/laundry room when he first bought it. I stayed there many, many times. My wife and I stayed there for our honeymoon, during the 2000 US Open Golf tournament, and I got to see Tiger Woods walk right past me on the 10th green on Sunday, from the beach. Every day we’d go to Katy’s Place for breakfast, visit the Sharper Image store, and shop at On the Beach.
      I think the shower upstairs and toilet had major problems while my grandpa owned it. There was water damage behind the shower walls and I remember grandpa telling us it would be too much to fix. The first visit we had there, my sibs and I slept upstairs in the attic. We enjoyed climbing the ladder back then. We always kept the key to the house somewhere outside and we always had to take the trash out and sweep the stone patio before we left. Good memories!

    • Alanna / Jul 17 2014 10:56 am

      I am trying to put together a collection of these landmark homes. I see that the blueprint for the home is photo copied here but I was wondering if any one had an original or something more
      Easily read.

      • Linda Hartong / Jul 17 2014 2:19 pm

        Alanna the blueprints for the homes are at City Hall and available to anyone. They can help you with this.

    • sandy / Apr 7 2017 4:12 pm

      Roger and Kathy: Do you still own Fables? Are you living there now or renting it out? I’m buying the Doll’s House next door, and am so in need of referrals for a really good contractor to help me restore this treasure! Can you help me?

      • Roger Sanger / Apr 12 2017 5:39 pm


        Thanks for the introduction. We are here now but live also in Sun Valley, Idaho so this is our winter retreat. We will miss the Allenders but will welcome you next. If you contact us at we can set up a call with you and have you visit our house and tell you who we used to help us restore our cottage without spending a fortune. I talked with Jim Allender yesterday and they are both happy and sad but so glad that someone next can enjoy a Comstock…..

        Roger and Kathy

      • Linda Hartong / Apr 14 2017 2:03 pm

        Please contact the Sangers

      • sandra markowski / Apr 14 2017 3:24 pm

        Thanks, Lisa, but my email was returned as undeliverable to that address. Must be old. So disappointed. Sandy

      • bret roberts / Apr 15 2017 11:01 am

        yes, I tried emailing, and the address doesn’t work. thanks


      • Linda Hartong / Apr 15 2017 12:59 pm


      • Linda Hartong / Apr 15 2017 12:56 pm

        Sandy the email is

  7. mary / May 18 2016 11:35 pm

    Linda, I am trying to find the name of the house you put on Flickr. It is in the Normandy cottage style.
    The visitors bureau couldn’t help me. I need to identify the house to get the plans. Love that house.

    • Linda Hartong / May 19 2016 4:01 pm

      I need more info Mary. Color of home- I posted so many photos.

    • Linda Hartong / May 19 2016 4:30 pm

      Hi Mary . Was it the pink home?

  8. Sara Roberts / Oct 2 2016 1:00 am

    I am Sara Roberts and owned the house in the 80’s, bought it from Roger, sold it to John Scully.
    I put in all the stone work in the front and back patios.

  9. Roger Sanger / Apr 14 2017 4:48 pm

    To Sandra who bought Doll House. Please contact us again as email was misprinted. it is Roger and Kathy Sanger Fables House

  10. sandy / Apr 15 2017 2:01 pm

    Thanks, Linda. I connected with Roger Sanger.

  11. Hong L. / Jul 22 2019 10:45 pm

    Wow, not just the story of this fairytale cottage, but also the stories of its upgrade history, lovely. bookmarked this page. Hopefully I can find Fables and Doll House next time I visit Carmel by the Sea 🙂


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