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August 27, 2012 / Linda Hartong


I admire Hob Nob for years and snap photos of its gate.

I know that it is on the California Register of Historic Homes –  but not much more.

As I walk by this August, the cottage seems to have an air of new life about it.

The garden is freshened, doors and windows are ajar

and strollers line the driveway.

Encouraged, I open the gate

and walk down the westward sloping stairs set in the Carmel stone retaining walls

and past walkways and well maintained informal garden of flower beds and low shrubbery.

The main entry is on the north side and the roof flares slightly over an enclosed, stucco-clad round-headed arched portico, with a tiny round-headed window in its east side elevation.

As I ring the bell,

a dog alerts the residents. A young women answers and promises to give my card to the owners who are both busy at the time.

Within the hour I receive a call, they will look at the blog and let me know if I might photograph their home.

Hooray! I can.

In the meantime, I go to City Hall to learn about this home I will be privileged to photograph.

Hob Nob is originally known as the Garfield D. Mermer House. Built in 1924 , it is tentatively attributed to Carmel designer/builder Ernest Bixler. Architectural historian, Kent Seavey,  notices suggestions that M.J. Murphy may have had a hand in the construction. Mr. Seavey descibes the details I will look for.

I wait for an overcast sky and head out to take my pictures.

The house is an “ell” plan that forms a V, facing the prevailing SW sea breeze , providing protection for the Carmel Stone paved patio fronting the residence.

Offset French doors on either side of the north wing provide easy access through the house to a terraced garden and patio.

This appears to be the ideal place for the dog to keep a keen watch on the house and he again announces my presence.

One of the most delightful aspects of the home is its open round-headed arches enclosing a wooden landing , reached by an open, side-approach exterior wooden staircase to a balcony.

Later,this balcony is even more appealing when a curly-haired , red-headed granddaughter  with a few missing teeth poses  at the top like Juliet awaiting her Romeo.

I make my way along the south side of the home and down the drive.

A detached garage sits at the end of the drive.

I look back to the west-facing terrace.


I find out later that many children and grandchildren are weekend guests. That explains the strollers, beach toys,

tennis rackets

and balls.

Surely the builder would be delighted to find his creation sheltering so much happy life.

Back up the drive , I admire the diverse textures  and colors of the plantings.

The owner now comes out to meet me. He is a charmer . Well-educated, gracious and a wonderful grandfather , we “ hob nob” until his wife announces he has four minutes to get ready to take the family to the Forest Theater Production of “Beauty and the Beast”.

We part, but I am promised a chance to photograph the interior when all the guests have gone.

I can hardly wait. 


Leave a Comment
  1. Gretta Faun / Aug 29 2012 4:06 pm

    This cottage has an interesting name. I googled it to learn what it means. I am looking forward to see the interior.

  2. Nita@ModVintageLife / Sep 7 2012 5:22 pm

    Oh…this one is a beauty. Love the gardens. Can’t wait to see the inside.

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