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July 7, 2012 / Linda Hartong


Catty-corner from our Carmel cottage is my good neighbor,”The Homestead”.

It is originally built in the 1900’s as a private home but has grown over the years into 12 guest rooms in cottage-like buildings

separated by winding stone pathways.

The outdoor patio has a Carmel stone fireplace.

The Main House has seven rooms all remodeled in the Mission Style.

We stay here when we were moving into our house and enjoy the company of Betty Colletto the current owner. Betty lives here with her daughter and tells us stories about our house. 

She is one fabulous gardener and has created a lush succulent garden.

Much of the history of this home is archived. The first records in the file at City Hall show Mr. Ray Sutton converting the home in 1936 and opening for business as Sutton Place.

Next Mr. Jim Buffington takes ownership and does some remodeling

and then in 1956 our old friend Hugh Comstock adds 900 square feet and 3 rooms.

We are present for the next change of ownership when Betty retires and sells The Homestead to none other than Clint Eastwood. Mr. Eastwood does extensive work and makes the hotel the “sister” to the Mission Ranch. Guests are welcome to enjoy breakfast, the fitness center and tennis courts at The Mission Ranch.

I love the soft rose color 

Winding paths,

And colorful plantings.

The Homestead is a good spot for families as the rooms are large and the patio is a great place to gather in the evening.

Most of the rooms are “up- to- date”, but several stay quite rustic, so be sure to study up before you book a room.

If you stand on a balcony

and look south-west, give me a wave.

After I posted this , I got wonderful messages from girls who grew up in this house.

“Mom and Dad lived in Omaha, Dad working for his father’s insurance company.  He didn’t like it so they packed up their things and moved to California.  Before we knew it they had purchased the hotel.  When we were growing up we did all the work as a family.  Mom would clean the kitchens and bathrooms, Dad did the floors and windows and Betty and I stripped the rooms, took in the needed linens and made the beds.  As I recall, we were initially paid 25 cents an hr. which was later raised to 50 cents.  Another job Dad would do would paint the building, after installing television in the rooms he learned how to test faulty TVs and fixed them himself.  He also did most of the hotel repairs. Mom answered the door for the customers, kept the books, did the correspondence, did all the washing of the towels, spreads, blankets, etc. The sheets were sent out to be cleaned and starched.  Later Mom washed all the glasses in the rooms in the dishwasher.

When times were hard we took the old used bath soap, let it dry out and then we’d put it thru a meat grinder to use in the washing machine.

In their little spare time Mom would paint seascapes, landscapes etc. and Dad made model ships.  When he reached his late 60’s he took up needlepoint. When we were done on the room cleaning on weekends, Dad took us fishing. Those were wonderful times.  I have no idea where he found time to do that as he belonged to the Lion’s club, and was a member of the Youth Center Board, worked for the Red Cross etc.

Mom and I would play double solitaire when Dad was at a meeting.  Dad was also a black and white photographer as a hobby.  As Betty and I got older we learned how to run the business and then Mom and Dad were able to take a vacation.  We had a wonderful life there and treasure all of our memories. If I think of anything else I will let you know.

We may have missed being neighbors but we can always stay in touch.”

Mary Thurston

Her sister Betty adds

“Dad was also on the city council in the 50’s he was street commissioner and police commissioner, the shooting range at the police station is named after him. Mom was a wonderful artist, she was president of the Carmel Art Association at some point. My sister went off  to college right after high school, married and moved to New York over 40 years ago. She remembers things I don’t, and I remember things she doesn’t. “



Leave a Comment
  1. Jonni / Jul 7 2012 12:41 am

    I love the Homestead, I’m so glad you featured it! It’s been on the Carmel Heritage Society’s Inns Tour in the past and it’s such a lovely property. How fascinating to know that Hugh Comstock’s Carmel legacy lived on in the work done by his associates in 1956.

  2. Annie Westlake, / Jul 7 2012 8:18 am

    I’m not familiar with this place and appreciate your “tour.” What a fascinating history it has. I will look it up for our next visit, and will give you a wave from across the street!

  3. Betty / Jul 9 2012 6:03 pm

    Hi Linda, thank you so much for this wonderful “write-up” you have a great way with words. Your home is coming along nicely, I drive by every morning on my way to the beach. Everything you’re doing looks perfect, I’m looking forward to the finished product. I learned about your blog this morning, walking with a gal that used to stay with me, she comes up from New Mexico every year, I feel so lucky, she’s been reading it for some time. Again thank you so much, Betty Colletto

  4. Mary Thurston / Jul 9 2012 6:47 pm

    This was my former home. I lived here from nursery school all the way through Carmel High School.
    My bedroom was on the top floor of the main bldg.

  5. Joanne Lewis Silvagni / Jul 9 2012 7:59 pm

    What a surpise to see your tour of the Homestead Inn on “Tales from Carmel by the Sea. My sister and I are both avid Carmel walkers and pass by the Inn each and everyday. Not only are we fans of the inn and find your tour fascinating….we are also friends of Betty Colletto and her little dog Bonnie…quite often we have the pleasure of her company during our walks along the sea. We get to hear all of the stories of the inn…..very intertaining.

  6. Ruth / Jul 11 2012 6:55 pm

    I really hope to come and visit Carmel sometime and will have to look you up to have a cup of coffee or glass of tea. I ALWAYS enjoy your tours and this one was so great! I love to hear the history or story of a house. Carmel looks so inviting and it is on my bucket list! I might even get to stay at The Homstead Inn. Thanks again Linda for taking me through your town.

  7. Geraldine O'Neill / Mar 26 2013 8:36 pm

    Can you tell me what the soap they provide in the guest rooms is made with. It is lovely. I stayed there in october 2012

    • Linda Hartong / Mar 26 2013 9:52 pm

      Try calling their sister hotel- The Mission Ranch at (800) 538-8221. I think they could tell you

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