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June 28, 2013 / Linda Hartong


In 1927, Hugh Comstock builds Great Expectations. It is the first cottage he builds outside the City limits. I discover it by accident. 

One would think that in such a small town, any house would be easy to find again. However, when I walk, my head is constantly swiveling from side to side. So many cute cottages. 

I first spot this cottage in 2008 and snap this photo to post on Flickr. Everyone else love it too and it soars up to Explore-Interestingness where it gets more than 10,000 views.

Carmel 020in porgressdone

Of course I am delighted and when I start this blog, I try to find it again.

It is a lovely morning and I have stolen the car from my husband to go exploring WHEN I SEE IT AGAIN! Hooray.


I have my cards and camera and so I step up to the gate

California poppies volunteer under the gate and


Roses bloom on the arbor.


The door bell rings as I enter.


Up the stone path I head.


I pass the garage ( totally darling)


And approach the front door. There is the bird house I remember from years ago.




I ring the door bell and a sweet-faced woman answers. She opens the top of the dutch door and I explain my blog.  She asks if I am aware that her home was built by Hugh Comstock!!! And it is named Great Expectations.


This is the last cottage Jo Ann Mathewson mentions in her book “The Fairy Tale Cottages of Carmel”. She only says it is “out of town”.

“Out of town” is 4 or 5 blocks outside the limits of Carmel-by-the Sea. And now is not far out at all. 

When I tell her that we lost her house, she grins and replies, “We have been here all along”.

She and her husband moved from San Francisco and bought the cottage  -then 400 sq ft. They set about remodeling it to its current 3 bedroom , 2 bath, 1795 sq. Ft  And what a wonderful job they did keeping the character of the house. Although I do not know, I would bet Mr. Comstock did the remodel himself.

She is going to the Farmer’s Market , but gives me permission to take photos to share with you.

A small patio and the garage face me when I turn from the door. 


I love this wren house and garage door.


A simple table and chairs sit here


And the fence behind it is full ornaments.


I start back down the path , admiring the trellis on the side of the garage.


I turn to the east on this garden path that forms the structure for the garden.


A sundial anchors the round bed


Another path leads to the west.


A bunny quietly observes me.


It is a charming view back toward the cottage.


I am particularly fond of the yellow birdhouse in the small wheel barrow


This area is enclosed by a fence


I step outside the fence and find another path.


The fence adds structure,disguises a service path and provides a place for bird and bird house to perch


And for roses to climb


Nasturtium bloom along the path.


The owner has mentioned the many growing zones of Carmel. Her site is near the sea and she must deal with wind and salt air. Here Yarrow and California Poppy mingle


With Santa Barbara daisy 



wild geranium


And lavender


Time to say good-by to this Comstock Cottage. I am so glad I found it again!



Leave a Comment
  1. elaine caldwell / Jun 28 2013 11:35 pm

    I enjoy your posts, they are delightful!

  2. Beverly Conrad / Jun 28 2013 11:47 pm

    Linda, where is this house, I want to go by. It looks like our Frederick Bigland, thanks, Bev Conrad

  3. Carolyn / Jun 29 2013 1:11 am

    Yes, totally darling. And such lovely landscaping. The additions are seamless and all of a piece – I sure can’t tell what’s old and what’s new. I would love to see how the new interiors meld with the original.

  4. Jeff Elliott / Jun 29 2013 2:38 am

    Linda, we love your blog! Could you please contact us? My wife, Candice, and I have the Comstock House in Santa Rosa, where members of the family lived for 74 years, including Hugh, Catherine, and Cornelia in their pre-Carmel years.

    • Diane / Jun 29 2013 8:17 pm

      I so love seeing something from you in my Gmail,every little house and garden you take me to is better than the one before….Next time you go to that Cottage bring a little cake,with a bit of luck perhaps you will get inside!!!

  5. Linda Kerekes / Jun 29 2013 4:34 am

    I enjoy every home you report on. My husband and I are Carmel lovers and spent our honeymoon there 42 years ago. We try get back at least every two years or so. Thank you, we love every post

    Another Linda

  6. Nita@ModVintageLife / Jun 29 2013 5:12 am

    Loved seeing this wonderful Comstock cottage…what a treasure. I’d love to see the inside!

  7. Marcia Shortt / Jun 29 2013 3:16 pm

    Hi LInda, Another wonderful house with great attention-to-details photos. So nice to be a subscriber. Marcia Shortt

    Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2013 23:02:53 +0000 To:

  8. lynn momboisse / Jun 30 2013 10:18 pm

    Another great post Linda – I noticed the light fixture above the owl, I believe that might be an original. I have seem them in a lot of Murphy and Comstock homes. Must be a common fixture from the 20’s.
    Blessings, Lynn

  9. Sue / Jul 1 2013 9:12 am

    It’s the most wonderful house of all, except each house you present is the most wonderful. I notice the swirl in the stucco on the house and your photography is beyond the norm- when is your photo class starting? I have to Pin this now.

  10. liz / Jul 2 2013 12:57 am

    Thank you. So beautiful. It isn’t landscaped, someone just planted – my grandmother planted marigolds around her huge vegetable garden and always had moss rose.Liz

  11. Renee Hobbs / Jan 18 2015 11:20 pm

    Just lovely. So enjoy every aspect of you posts. The descriptions, pictures, houses, flowers, and details. Wonderful

    • Linda Hartong / Jan 22 2015 7:59 pm

      This is one of my favorite Comstock homes
      Thanks for taking time to comment on the post

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