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Jack London State Historic Park: Wikis

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Jack London Ranch
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
U.S. National Historic Landmark
Jack London State Historic Park is located in California
Nearest city: Glen Ellen, California
Coordinates: 38°21′2″N 122°32′35″W / 38.35056°N 122.54306°W / 38.35056; -122.54306Coordinates: 38°21′2″N 122°32′35″W / 38.35056°N 122.54306°W / 38.35056; -122.54306
Area: 47.5 acres[1]
Governing body: State
Added to NRHP: October 15, 1966[2]
Designated NHL: December 29, 1962[3]
NRHP Reference#: 66000240

Jack London State Historic Park, also known as Jack London Home and Ranch, is a California State Historic Park near Glen Ellen, California, United States, situated on the eastern slope of Sonoma Mountain. It includes the ruins of a house burned a few months before Jack London and family were to move in, a cottage in which they had lived, another house built later, and the graves of Jack London and his wife. The property is a National Historic Landmark.

The Jack London home, called the Wolf House, is a sizable stone structure, which was destroyed by fire and whose ruins are visible within the state park property. The sloping terrain of the park has a considerable occurrence of Goulding clay loam soils, particularly in the lower reaches.[4].

Contents

History

Jack London State Historic Park was occupied by a winery called Kohler & Frohling. Jack London purchased the property when it was abandoned in 1905 with hopes of becoming a rancher. While London was there, he expanded the small cottage to 3,000 square feet (279 square meters) and converted the stone house next to it into a study where London would write his works. Between 1909 and 1911, Jack London bought more land to expand his ranch. In 1910, he began work on his mansion on his ranch called the Wolf House. Jack and Charmian London spent more than $80,000 in pre-World War I money on the house. It was to be 15,000 square feet (1,393 square meters), have custom made furniture and decorations and was to have a reflection pool stocked with Mountain Bass. On August 22, 1913, while the Londons were away from their ranch, they got word that their new mansion was on fire. By the time they got there, the house was completely overtaken by the fire and was too late to save the house. Jack London was devastated after the fire burnt down the house that he never got to live in. This put London in debt and forced him to literally work to death. He tried to earn enough money to run his ranch and have a good lifestyle. On November 22, 1916, Jack London died of a cause that is still disputed today. He wished that he would be cremated and he ashes interred on the property. He also stated that he wanted to be buried near the pioneer children on a hill underneath a rock from the Wolf House, which was just down the road. After London died, his wife Charmian inherited the property. During that time she built a house on the property called the House of Happy Walls, which in a way is a smaller version of the Wolf House. Charmian lived there until her death in 1955. In her will, she wanted the house she built become a museum in honor of her husband. This was eventually the start of the Jack London State Historic Park, which opened four years later to the public in 1959. Today it's an attraction to many Jack London fans and people who enjoy the nature of the property.

Park features

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Cottage

The garden as seen from the cottage porch

The cottage is where many of Jack London's guests stayed with him. It was the main living quarters throughout his time on the ranch. It was bought by London in 1911 and expanded later that year. London then expanded by adding a west wing to the cottage, which served as a study where Jack London wrote many of his stories. Jack London died in this cottage on his sunporch on November 22, 1916.

House of Happy Walls

The House of Happy Walls was constructed after Jack London's death by Charmian London in memory of him in 1919. It's a smaller and a more formal version of the Wolf House in a way. Much of the furniture in the house was to be used for the Wolf House. Charmian lived in this house until her death in 1955, which she instructed that the house be used as a museum for Jack London. Today it serves as the visitor center and a museum for Jack London State Park.

Wolf House

The Wolf House began construction in 1910 and was to be 15,000 square feet (1,393 square meters) and to include only native materials of the area, a reflection pool and custom made furniture. The house was completed in 1913, but before the Londons got to move in, the house burnt down. The ruins still stand today.

Jack and Charmian London's grave

Grave of Jack and Charmian London

Jack and Charmian London are both buried on the property not far from the Wolf House. They were both cremated and buried under a rock that belonged to the Wolf House next to some pioneer children. These were the wishes of Jack London and his funeral took place on November 26, 1916 with only close friends, relatives and workers of the property. Charmian London was then buried with her husband in 1955 in the same simple spot that her husband chose.

Other

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962.[1][3]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Cecil McKithan (October 7, 1977), National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Jack London HOme and Ranch / Jack London State Historic ParkPDF (32 KB), National Park Service   and Accompanying two photos, from 1977PDF (32 KB)
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. http://www.nr.nps.gov/.  
  3. ^ a b "Jack London Ranch". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. http://tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=144&ResourceType=Building. Retrieved 2008-07-07.  
  4. ^ Soil Survey, Sonoma County, California, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, United States Government Printing Office, Washington DC, May 1972

External links


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