Skip to content
December 4, 2012 / Linda Hartong


Carmel Point is a small peninsula at the edge of Carmel Bay between the City of Carmel and Carmel River State Beach. 

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 5.12.07 PM

When Carmel-By-the Sea is incorporated,  this area is

“Unbroken field of poppy and lupin walled with clean cliffs;

No intrusion but two or three horses pasturing,

Or a few milch cows rubbing their flanks on the outcrop rock-heads—”  to quote a poem by Robinson Jeffers.

Jeffers built his own home ,Tor House,on the Point .

Later in his life he is forced to sell a large part of the Point for financial reasons and never really recovers when his “beautiful place(is) defaced with a crop of suburban houses—” Jeffers.

Located outside of Carmel-by-the Sea, it is not governed by the lot and home size-restrictions imposed by the City. So many of the larger homes I share with you are on the Point and blessed with lovely views

As is Bay Cottage.

It looks like the proverbial “rose covered cottage” and has a place in my childhood dreams of what a cottage should look like.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.55.59 PM

So let’s walk up the nicely landscaped stone path to the front door.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.54.49 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.54.58 PM

And into the foyer.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.53.09 PM

A cozy parlor is to the left of the front of the house.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.48.44 PM

The French doors in this room opens to one of the patios.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.54.06 PM

The cottage has an open floor plan. The right-wing consists of the living room with rustic plank wood floors and a slate brick wood burning fireplace

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.49.04 PM

Where large window share the view,

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.49.13 PM

The dining room,

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.50.25 PM

And the kitchen with its beautiful rustic cabinetry,

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.49.43 PM

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.49.53 PM

and breakfast bar.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.50.14 PM

Views everywhere.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.50.02 PM

The center hall

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.53.42 PM

leads to the left-wing consisting of three bedrooms and three baths that open off this small foyer

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.53.20 PM

With its unique skylight.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.53.32 PM

I love the built-in storage,

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.50.34 PM

Window seat dividing the sinks and

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.51.24 PM

and dressing room.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.51.59 PM

It is my opinion that one can not have too many window seats 

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.52.18 PM

Like this one overlooking the front garden.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.52.31 PM

A little girl’s dream bedroom

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.52.41 PM

And bath with flowered sinks and a greenhouse window in the shower-tub.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.53.01 PM

Let’s step out on the porch overlooking the bay

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.54.17 PM

Carmel is hilly so this cottage has a great view over the homes on the other side of the street.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.54.39 PM

We are looking toward Pebble Beach and Carmel Beach.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.55.29 PM

I love this landing with its bench and bird house.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.55.13 PM


Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 4.55.41 PM

Here is a bird’s eye view.

Screen Shot 2012-12-03 at 5.00.45 PM


After I write this post, Carmel resident, Jayne Bechtel, writes to tell me

“It used to be Jean Arthur’s home.

Jean talked of yesteryear living at ” Driftwood ” when cows grazed Carmel Meadows,

Jeffers walked fog wafting streets with his beloved bull dogs, the Stewart family estate comprising at least seven lots, resided across the street and Scenic was but a dirt path.

I believe the magazine, Architectural Digest in the 70’s wrote an article about Jean and her Driftwood home in Carmel.

Bay Cottage brings back memories of Jean feeding her five cats choice meats from Neilson’s Market carefully chopped and served in oriental dishes under the bushes.”

I do a little more research and find that Jean is considered standoffish by Hollywood standards because of her shyness. Later in her career she develops extreme stage fright and retires for good to her Carmel home in 1937. She lives in semi-seclusion in her modest home . In 1991, Jean dies of hear failure and her ashes are scattered off Point Lobos.



Leave a Comment
  1. Barbara roneker / Dec 4 2012 9:01 pm

    How about the outside of this cottage so cute…Joe and I just played with the doggie…love u

  2. flower on the moon / Dec 6 2012 7:50 pm

    Carmel-by-The-Sea is such a magical place. Definitely on my list for places to see.
    Thank you for a wonderful blog.

  3. tammy j / Dec 13 2012 10:08 pm

    thank you for this tour of jean arthur’s old home. she is one of my favorite actresses. she had that funny little catch in her voice. how wonderful she chose such a beautiful cozy home to live out the rest of her ‘civilian’ days from the glam and busibodiness (is that a word!?) of hollywood.
    i can see her enjoying carmel.
    as always your blog is a treasure.

  4. Inspired and pretty / Dec 31 2012 2:57 am

    What a lovely home, and what great views they have ! It’s an idyllic place… It must have been such a wonderful place when there were less homes and when the cows were grazing
    Your panoramic photos are wonderful !
    Happy new year Linda !

  5. Michael Smith / Aug 22 2013 4:26 pm

    I would have given anything to meet jean arthur and sipped cactus milk with her!!!! She was beautiful and a terrific actress! Michael

    • Michael Smith / Aug 22 2013 4:29 pm

      When I get to heaven I’m going to find her!!! Michael

  6. Faith Koch / Jan 10 2014 2:40 am

    What a deceiving front facing photo!! Who knew all that was in that “little” cottage! Totally love it & if I had the money, I’d move right in! Beautiful!

    • Michael Smith / Jan 13 2014 2:07 pm

      Faith, the beautiful, exceptional and unique actress Jean Arthur lived there after leaving hollywood in the 40’s. Her two passions were animals and interior designing. She also was a perfectionist and a impeccable dresser. I think it shows in her cottage! Crazy about Jean Arthur!

  7. Sue / Jan 10 2014 3:43 am

    I could live there easily……until I saw the price…..worth every penny though…it’s gorgeous….inside and out!

  8. Robin Ross / Oct 17 2015 1:19 am

    I love this house–It is beautiful! It’s gorgeous!! inside and out! The colors look fresh and inviting. A cottage–a house!!! I would move in in an instant. I loved the movies I saw with Jean Arthur–too bad she left Hollywood so soon. She was exceptional. The house landscaping alone is exquisite. The details inside and out are perfect–WOW!!!\

  9. Michael Smith / Oct 27 2015 10:30 pm

    Jean Arthur stunning, fabulous actress, need say no more!! I’m crazy about her bayside cottage! She also had a beautiful home called driftwood, just down the road from her bayside cottage! I search Tcm channel all the time for her movies! Can’t get enough of Jean!!!!

  10. Cat / Sep 22 2017 2:26 am

    That house, “Bay Cottage,” isn’t Driftwood, or Jean Arthur’s former house. My father did some work for Jean Arthur when I was a little girl and I know the house – I’ve passed it all my life. It sits right on the corner on Carmel Point, where Scenic Drive makes a hairpin turn east towards the lagoon – that’s her fabulous rustic stick fence that runs along the road there and around the bend. Her garage is around the back on Ocean View, first building on the left as you turn off Scenic. Her house has unimpeded views out over Stewart’s Cove and Carmel Bay. The whole house, outbuildings and fencing are all made of rough unpainted wood (like Driftwood) and thank goodness the exterior has barely been changed since she lived there – no flashy makeover like what has been the ruinous fate of so many other Carmel cottages. It’s an amazing house and an amazing piece of land. –Carmel Native

    • Linda Hartong / Sep 22 2017 8:04 pm

      Thanks for setting the record straight

      • R.R. / Feb 8 2018 5:40 pm

        Actually, according to her biographer, John Oller, this was Jean’s last home. She sold “Driftwood,” for financial reasons, and purchased the 2313 Bayview residence in 1977. You can read about it in the final chapter of his book,”Jean Arthur: The Actress Nobody Knew.”

    • Richard Crowley / Jan 16 2021 9:39 pm

      My grandfather…Leslie Emery would walk by that home every night after dinner. As a child I really never appreciated the area because of the cool climate…as a adult I miss not spending more time there…little has changed there….

  11. Jeff / Feb 17 2018 2:28 am

    I lived near her during the eighties and never knew. To have shared a moment in time with her would have been a something to cherish for the rest of my life.

  12. Lisa Garber / Apr 29 2019 10:30 am

    I remember that Architectural Digest article very well. I was in my 20s and planning a marriage and furnishing our first home in Pennsylvania. I was captivated by Arthur’s glass-topped driftwood tables. I had a (now defunct) company in NYC called Treetops, Inc design a massive dining table copied from Arthur’s living room end table. I shlepped that gorgeous table from house to house until a year ago, when I gifted it to a young couple from our church who admired it.

  13. Laura B / Jul 2 2021 2:21 am

    My dad, who was in WWII, said while he was stationed near Carmel that he met Jean Arthur and would stay with her and her mom at “her house up on the hill”. I ha e been trying to corroborate this story, but since Jean was so private it has been difficult.

    Side story… My dad said he and his army buddy were walking in Carmel and went into what they thought was a lingerie store to buy a gift for his buddy’s wife, and that is where they met Bob Hope because it was a bar not a lingerie store. He said they would frequently,meet him there for drinks. Any idea where this bar was downtown Carmel?

  14. Erica R / Oct 10 2021 8:34 am

    Great read thank yoou

Leave a Reply to Laura B Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: