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April 26, 2012 / Linda Hartong


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.

Jack London,

Mary Austin,

Sinclair Lewis

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.

Edward Weston

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.


Leave a Comment
  1. Jacqui / Apr 26 2012 8:36 am

    I so enjoy your blog, and the wonderful pics!! Thank you for the latest journey!

  2. Mary Jo / Apr 30 2012 7:27 pm

    My favorite blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  3. Vikki Fossum / May 30 2012 12:48 pm

    Very interesting.

  4. Chris Kruft / Sep 26 2012 1:30 am

    me & my 3 children have stayed in the Stone house Inn several times. Terry (the Inn keeper) was always so wonderful to allow me to bring my kids (knowing how behaved they were) my children will never forget the hidden secret behind the wall of the fireplace!

  5. Michelle Navaille / Sep 18 2016 12:48 am

    I enjoyed reading your take on the Stonehouse Inn. It is a wonderful, beautiful home with so much more than you could imagine! My family owned this house for 24 years and ran the house as a B and B. I miss every little inch of this home I use to call mine. Not a day goes by that I am not reminded of this special place. I have many memories that I will always keep close at hand and in my heart. Thanks for sharing your story of this place that I will always want to call home. We sold the house in 2007. My name is Michelle Navaille and you can reach me at because I am curious who wrote this story. Thank you!

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