Jack London State Historical Park

Glen Ellen, California

14 September 2005

Photos by Neil Mishalov

Valerie and I decided to go to the Valley of the Moon and do a hike at Jack London State Historical Park. Neither of us had been to this park previously, and it turned out to be a lovely park with a good combination of hiking trails and historical artifacts remaining from the time that Jack and Charmian London lived, dreamed, farmed and wrote on this land.

We arrived at 10:00 a.m. and left at 5:00 p.m., and we hiked 11.67 miles and climbed 2,350 feet. Where is the park LOCATED?

Part of this hike took place on the still-to-be-completed Bay Area Ridge Trail (GO HERE), a 400 mile trail that will eventually circumnavigate the greater Bay Area at the higher elevations.

"When I was growing up in Berkeley, I used to think of East Bay wild places as wilderness with training wheels...

Experience elsewhere has taught me that those wheels were only in my mind. Trails where I once held my father's hand are no less worthy destinations today, especially as they are being connected to form the 400 mile Bay Area Ridge Trail."

Wilderness Photographer and Author





Jack London in his 20's.

Jack London fought his way up out of the factories and waterfront dives of West Oakland to become the highest paid, most popular novelist and short story writer of his day. He wrote passionately and prolifically about the great questions of life and death, the struggle to survive with dignity and integrity, and he wove these elemental ideas into stories of high adventure based on his own firsthand experiences at sea, or in Alaska, or in the fields and factories of California. As a result, his writing appealed not to the few, but to millions of people all around the world.

Along with his books and stories, however, Jack London was widely known for his personal exploits. He was a celebrity, a colorful and controversial personality who was often in the news. Generally fun-loving and playful, he could also be combative, and was quick to side with the underdog against injustice or oppression of any kind. He was a fiery and eloquent public speaker, and much sought after as a lecturer on socialism and other economic and political topics. Despite his avowed socialism, most people considered him a living symbol of rugged individualism, a man whose fabulous success was due not to special favor of any kind, but to a combination of unusual mental ability and immense vitality.

Strikingly handsome, full of laughter, restless and courageous to a fault, always eager for adventure on land or sea, he was one of the most attractive and romantic figures of his time.

Jack London ascribed his literary success largely to hard work - to "dig," as he put it. He tried never to miss his early morning 1,000-word writing stint, and between 1900 and 1916 he completed over fifty books, including both fiction and non-fiction, hundreds of short stories, and numerous articles on a wide range of topics. Several of the books and many of the short stories are classics of their kind, well thought of in critical terms and still popular around the world. Today, almost countless editions of London's writings are available and some of them have been translated into as many as seventy different languages.

In addition to his daily writing stint and his commitments as a lecturer, London also carried on voluminous correspondence (he received some 10,000 letters per year), read proofs of his work as it went to press, negotiated with his various agents and publishers, and conducted other business such as overseeing construction of his custom-built sailing ship, the Snark (1906 - 1907), construction of Wolf House (1910 - 1913), and the operation of his beloved Beauty Ranch, which became a primary preoccupation after about 1911. Along with all this, he had to continually generate new ideas for books and stories and do the research so necessary to his writing.

Jack London at his office desk in the cottage located at Beauty Ranch.

Somehow, he managed to do all these things and still find time to go swimming, horseback riding, or sailing on San Francisco Bay. He also spent 27 months cruising the South Pacific in the Snark, put in two tours of duty as an overseas war correspondent, traveled widely for pleasure, entertained a continual stream of guests whenever he was at home in Glen Ellen, and did his fair share of barroom socializing and debating. In order to fit all this living into the narrow confines of one lifetime, he often tried to make do with no more than four or five hours of sleep at night.

London was first attracted to the Sonoma Valley by its magnificent natural landscape, a unique combination of high hills, fields and streams, and a beautiful mixed forest of oaks, madrones, California buckeyes, Douglas Fir, and redwood trees. "When I first came here, tired of cities and people, I settled down on a little farm ... 130 acres of the most beautiful, primitive land to be found in California." He didn't care that the farm was badly run-down. Instead, he reveled in its deep canyons and forests, its year-round springs and streams. "All I wanted," he said later, "was a quiet place in the country to write and loaf in and get out of Nature that something which we all need, only the most of us don't know it." Soon, however, he was busy buying farm equipment and livestock for his "mountain ranch." He also began work on a new barn and started planning a fine new house. "This is to be no summer-residence proposition," he wrote to his publisher in June 1905, "but a home all the year round. I am anchoring good and solid, and anchoring for keeps ..."

Jack London on a water wagon at Beauty Ranch.

Born January 12, 1876, he was only 29, but he was already internationally famous for Call of the Wild (1903), The Sea Wolf (1904), and other literary and journalistic accomplishments. He was divorced from Bessie (Maddern), his first wife and the mother of his two daughters, Joan and Little Bess, and he had married Charmian (Kittredge).

Living and owning land near Glen Ellen was a way of escaping from Oakland - from the city way of life he called the "man-trap." But excited as he was about his plans for the ranch, London was still too restless, too eager for foreign travel and adventure, to settle down and spend all his time there. While his barn and other ranch improvements were still under construction he decided to build a ship and go sailing around the world - exploring, writing, adventuring - enjoying the "big moments of living" that he craved and that would give him still more material to write about.

The great voyage was to last seven years and take Jack and Charmian around the world. In fact it lasted 27 months and took them "only" as far as the South Pacific and Australia. Discouraged by a variety of health problems, and heartbroken about having to abandon the trip and sell the Snark, London returned to Glen Ellen and to his plans for the ranch.

In 1909, 1910 and 1911 he bought more land, and in 1911 moved from Glen Ellen to a small ranch house in the middle of his holdings. He rode horseback throughout the countryside, exploring every canyon, glen and hill top. And he threw himself into farming - scientific agriculture - as one of the few justifiable, basic, and idealistic ways of making a living. A significant portion of his later writing - Burning Daylight (1910), Valley of the Moon (1913), Little Lady of the Big House (1916) - had to do with the simple pleasures of country life, the satisfaction of making a living directly and honestly from the land and thereby remaining close to the realities of the natural world.

Jack and Charmian London siting on the back porch of their cottage at Beauty Ranch. Wolf House was under construction at this time.

Jack and Charmian London's dream house began to take definite shape early in 1911 as Albert Farr, a well-known San Francisco architect, put their ideas on paper in the form of drawings and sketches, and then supervised the early stages of construction. It was to be a grand house - one that would remain standing for a thousand years. By August 1913, London had spent approximately $80,000 (in pre-World War I dollars), and the project was nearly complete. On August 22 final cleanup got underway and plans were laid for moving the Londons' specially designed, custom-built furniture and other personal belongings into the mansion. That night - at 2 a. m. - word came that the house was burning. By the time the Londons arrived on the scene the house was ablaze in every corner, the roof had collapsed, and even a stack of lumber some distance away was burning. Nothing could be done.

London looked on philosophically, but inside he was seriously wounded, for the loss was a crushing financial blow and the wreck of a long-cherished dream. Worse yet, he also had to face the probability that the fire had been deliberately set - perhaps by someone close to him. To this day, the mystery remains unsolved, but there are strong indications that the fire started by spontaneous combustion of oily rags which had been left in the building on that hot August night. London planned to rebuild Wolf House eventually, but at the time of his death in 1916 the house remained as it stands today, the stark but eloquent vestige of a unique and fascinating but shattered dream.

The destruction of the Wolf House left London terribly depressed, but after a few days he forced himself to go back to work. Using a $2,000 advance from Cosmopolitan Magazine, he added a new study to the little wood-frame ranch house in which he had been living since 1911. Here, in the middle of his beloved ranch, he continued to turn out the articles, short stories, and novels for which there was an ever-growing international market.

From the time he went east to meet with his publishers in New York, or to San Francisco or Los Angeles on other business. He also spent a considerable amount of time living and working aboard his 30-foot yawl, the Roamer, which he loved to sail around San Francisco Bay and throughout the nearby Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. In 1914 he went to Mexico as a war correspondent covering the role of U.S. troops and Navy ships in the Villa-Carranza revolt.

In 1915 and again in 1916 Charmian persuaded him to spend several months in Hawaii, where he seemed better able to relax and more willing to take care of himself. His greatest satisfaction, however, came from his ranch activities and from his ever more ambitious plans for expanding the ranch and increasing its productivity. These plans kept him perpetually in debt and under intense pressure to keep on writing as fast as he could, even though it might mean sacrificing quality in favor of quantity.

Jack and Charmian London at the fish pond located in front of their cottage on Beauty Ranch.

His doctors urged him to ease up, to change his work habits and his diet, to stop all use of alcohol, and to get more exercise. But he refused to change his way of life, and plunged on with his writing and his ranch, generously supporting friends and relations through it all. If anything, the press of his financial commitments and his increasingly severe health problems only made him expand his ambitions, dream even larger dreams, and work still harder and faster.

On November 22, 1916, Jack London died of gastrointestinal uremic poisoning. He was 40 years of age and had been suffering from a variety of ailments, including a kidney condition that was extraordinarily painful at times. Nevertheless, right up to the last day of his life he was full of bold plans and boundless enthusiasm for the future.

Words of grief poured into the telegraph office in Glen Ellen from all of the world and from a wide variety of people.

"No writer, unless it were Mark Twain, ever had a more romantic life than Jack London. The untimely death of this most popular of American Fictionists as profoundly shocked a world that expected him to live and work for many years longer." (Ernest J. Hopkins in the San Francisco Bulletin, December 2, 1916).

"He will be missed around here, all right," said one of the workmen on the ranch, "for he was mighty good to us, and there never was a man who came here who went away hungry."

"No matter what he said or did, his ever present kindness held you. He could say the rashest and brashest things, hurt your feelings and make you like it ... because there was no personal sting. He was one of the most lovable characters of his age." (Ed Morrell, ex-convict and personal friend).

"His greatness will surge triumphantly above race and time," said his old friend George Sterling. His genius was "so flaming, so passionate, and so sincere" that it would overwhelm the limits of "prejudice and nationality."

The above biography was researched and written by California State Parks Historians.

"Beauty Ranch" was the name Jack and Charmian London named the 1,400 acres of land that London purchased west of Glen Ellen, California. Between 1905 and 1916, London planted fruit, grain, and vegetable crops in this area, and raised fine horses, pigs, cattle and other animals as breeding stock. Many of the buildings were designed and built by London as part of his effort to develop and demonstrate new agricultural techniques that could be shared with farmers every where.

The buildings remaining on the property include the Sherry Barn, originally built by Chinese laborers for the Kohler and Frohling winery. London converted it to a stable for his English Shire horses. The Manure Pit was built by Italian stonemasons in 1914 to store manure for later distribution in the fields. The Stallion Barn housed six of London's highly prized shire horses. The "Cottage," which is in a state of restoration was London's principal home on the Beauty Ranch. This wood-framed cottage was purchased by London in 1911 along with the Kohler and Frohling winery buildings. It was enlarged after 1911 until it included some 3,000 square feet of living space. Here he wrote most of his later stories and novels. The main Kohler and Frohling winery building was heavily damaged in the 1906 earthquake. London used the foundation of the ruin and built an upper story wooden building which was used as a carriage house, living quarters for ranch hands, and rooms for his many guests. A fire destroyed the upper stories in 1965.

The Distillery building, originally constructed in 1888 as part of the old winery, was used by London's ranch hands to store and repair farm equipment. The ruins of a blacksmith shop can be seen on the west side.

The Pig Palace, so named by neighboring farmers, was designed by London and built in 1915. Laid out in a circle to save labor, the piggery's central feedhouse is surrounded by 17 pens. Each family of pigs had its own area; a courtyard with feed and water troughs, roofed sleeping area, and a fenced outdoor run. The piggery was designed to efficiently care for prized breeding pigs in a sanitary environment.

There are two cement block silos, which were erected between 1912 and 1915. The silos stand over 40 feet tall and held silage - fodder, made by cutting up green forage plants.

For additional information about Jack London State Historical Park, GO HERE, and HERE

San Francisco Earthquake: The Story of an Eyewitness

By Jack London, Collier's Special Correspondent

First published in Collier's Magazine, May 5, 1906

Upon receipt of the first news of the earthquake, Collier's telegraphed to Mr. Jack London-who lives only forty miles from San Francisco-requesting him to go to the scene of the disaster and write the story of what he saw. Mr. London started at once, and he sent the following dramatic description of the tragic events he witnessed in the burning city.

THE earthquake shook down in San Francisco hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of walls and chimneys. But the conflagration that followed burned up hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of property There is no estimating within hundreds of millions the actual damage wrought. Not in history has a modern imperial city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone. Nothing remains of it but memories and a fringe of dwelling-houses on its outskirts. Its industrial section is wiped out. Its business section is wiped out. Its social and residential section is wiped out. The factories and warehouses, the great stores and newspaper buildings, the hotels and the palaces of the nabobs, are all gone. Remains only the fringe of dwelling houses on the outskirts of what was once San Francisco.

Within an hour after the earthquake shock the smoke of San Francisco's burning was a lurid tower visible a hundred miles away. And for three days and nights this lurid tower swayed in the sky, reddening the sun, darkening the day, and filling the land with smoke.

On Wednesday morning at a quarter past five came the earthquake. A minute later the flames were leaping upward In a dozen different quarters south of Market Street, in the working-class ghetto, and in the factories, fires started. There was no opposing the flames. There was no organization, no communication. All the cunning adjustments of a twentieth century city had been smashed by the earthquake. The streets were humped into ridges and depressions, and piled with the debris of fallen walls. The steel rails were twisted into perpendicular and horizontal angles. The telephone and telegraph systems were disrupted. And the great water-mains had burst. All the shrewd contrivances and safeguards of man had been thrown out of gear by thirty seconds' twitching of the earth-crust.

The Fire Made its Own Draft

By Wednesday afternoon, inside of twelve hours, half the heart of the city was gone. At that time I watched the vast conflagration from out on the bay. It was dead calm. Not a flicker of wind stirred. Yet from every side wind was pouring in upon the city. East, west, north, and south, strong winds were blowing upon the doomed city. The heated air rising made an enormous suck. Thus did the fire of itself build its own colossal chimney through the atmosphere. Day and night this dead calm continued, and yet, near to the flames, the wind was often half a gale, so mighty was the suck.

Wednesday night saw the destruction of the very heart of the city. Dynamite was lavishly used, and many of San Francisco proudest structures were crumbled by man himself into ruins, but there was no withstanding the onrush of the flames. Time and again successful stands were made by the fire-fighters, and every time the flames flanked around on either side or came up from the rear, and turned to defeat the hard-won victory.

An enumeration of the buildings destroyed would be a directory of San Francisco. An enumeration of the buildings undestroyed would be a line and several addresses. An enumeration of the deeds of heroism would stock a library and bankrupt the Carnegie medal fund. An enumeration of the dead-will never be made. All vestiges of them were destroyed by the flames. The number of the victims of the earthquake will never be known. South of Market Street, where the loss of life was particularly heavy, was the first to catch fire.

Remarkable as it may seem, Wednesday night while the whole city crashed and roared into ruin, was a quiet night. There were no crowds. There was no shouting and yelling. There was no hysteria, no disorder. I passed Wednesday night in the path of the advancing flames, and in all those terrible hours I saw not one woman who wept, not one man who was excited, not one person who was in the slightest degree panic stricken.

Before the flames, throughout the night, fled tens of thousands of homeless ones. Some were wrapped in blankets. Others carried bundles of bedding and dear household treasures. Sometimes a whole family was harnessed to a carriage or delivery wagon that was weighted down with their possessions. Baby buggies, toy wagons, and go-carts were used as trucks, while every other person was dragging a trunk. Yet everybody was gracious. The most perfect courtesy obtained. Never in all San Francisco's history, were her people so kind and courteous as on this night of terror.

A Caravan of Trunks

All night these tens of thousands fled before the flames. Many of them, the poor people from the labor ghetto, had fled all day as well. They had left their homes burdened with possessions. Now and again they lightened up, flinging out upon the street clothing and treasures they had dragged for miles.

They held on longest to their trunks, and over these trunks many a strong man broke his heart that night. The hills of San Francisco are steep, and up these hills, mile after mile, were the trunks dragged. Everywhere were trunks with across them lying their exhausted owners, men and women. Before the march of the flames were flung picket lines of soldiers. And a block at a time, as the flames advanced, these pickets retreated. One of their tasks was to keep the trunk-pullers moving. The exhausted creatures, stirred on by the menace of bayonets, would arise and struggle up the steep pavements, pausing from weakness every five or ten feet.

Often, after surmounting a heart-breaking hill. they would find another wall of flame advancing upon them at right angles and be compelled to change anew the line of their retreat. In the end, completely played out, after toiling for a dozen hours like giants, thousands of them were compelled to abandon their trunks. Here the shopkeepers and soft members of the middle class were at a disadvantage. But the working-men dug holes in vacant lots and backyards and buried their trunks.

The Doomed City

At nine o'clock Wednesday evening I walked down through the very heart of the city. I walked through miles and miles of magnificent buildings and towering skyscrapers. Here was no fire. All was in perfect order. The police patrolled the streets. Every building had its watchman at the door. And yet it was doomed, all of it. There was no water. The dynamite was giving out. And at right angles two different conflagrations were sweeping down upon it.

At one o'clock in the morning I walked down through the same section Everything still stood intact. There was no fire. And yet there was a change. A rain of ashes was falling. The watchmen at the doors were gone. The police had been withdrawn. There were no firemen, no fire-engines, no men fighting with dynamite. The district had been absolutely abandoned. I stood at the corner of Kearney and Market, in the very innermost heart of San Francisco. Kearny Street was deserted. Half a dozen blocks away it was burning on both sides. The street was a wall of flame. And against this wall of flame, silhouetted sharply, were two United States cavalrymen sitting their horses, calming watching. That was all. Not another person was in sight. In the intact heart of the city two troopers sat their horses and watched.

Spread of the Conflagration

Surrender was complete. There was no water. The sewers had long since been pumped dry. There was no dynamite. Another fire had broken out further uptown, and now from three sides conflagrations were sweeping down. The fourth side had been burned earlier in the day. In that direction stood the tottering walls of the Examiner building, the burned-out Call building, the smoldering ruins of the Grand Hotel, and the gutted, devastated, dynamited Palace Hotel

The following will illustrate the sweep of the flames and the inability of men to calculate their spread. At eight o'clock Wednesday evening I passed through Union Square. It was packed with refugees. Thousands of them had gone to bed on the grass. Government tents had been set up, supper was being cooked, and the refugees were lining up for free meals

At half past one in the morning three sides of Union Square were in flames. The fourth side, where stood the great St. Francis Hotel was still holding out. An hour later, ignited from top and sides the St. Francis was flaming heavenward. Union Square, heaped high with mountains of trunks, was deserted. Troops, refugees, and all had retreated.

A Fortune for a Horse!

It was at Union Square that I saw a man offering a thousand dollars for a team of horses. He was in charge of a truck piled high with trunks from some hotel. It had been hauled here into what was considered safety, and the horses had been taken out. The flames were on three sides of the Square and there were no horses.

Also, at this time, standing beside the truck, I urged a man to seek safety in flight. He was all but hemmed in by several conflagrations. He was an old man and he Was on crutches. Said he: "Today is my birthday. Last night I was worth thirty thousand dollars. I bought five bottles of wine, some delicate fish and other things for my birthday dinner. I have had no dinner, and all I own are these crutches."

I convinced him of his danger and started him limping on his way. An hour later, from a distance, I saw the truck-load of trunks burning merrily in the middle of the street.

On Thursday morning at a quarter past five, just twenty-four hours after the earthquake, I sat on the steps of a small residence on Nob Hill. With me sat Japanese, Italians, Chinese, and negroes--a bit of the cosmopolitan flotsam of the wreck of the city. All about were the palaces of the nabob pioneers of Forty-nine. To the east and south at right angles, were advancing two mighty walls of flame

I went inside with the owner of the house on the steps of which I sat. He was cool and cheerful and hospitable. "Yesterday morning," he said, "I was worth six hundred thousand dollars. This morning this house is all I have left. It will go in fifteen minutes. He pointed to a large cabinet. "That is my wife's collection of china. This rug upon which we stand is a present. It cost fifteen hundred dollars. Try that piano. Listen to its tone. There are few like it. There are no horses. The flames will be here in fifteen minutes.''

Outside the old Mark Hopkins residence a palace was just catching fire. The troops were falling back and driving the refugees before them. From every side came the roaring of flames, the crashing of walls, and the detonations of dynamite

The Dawn of the Second Day

I passed out of the house. Day was trying to dawn through the smoke-pall. A sickly light was creeping over the face of things. Once only the sun broke through the smoke-pall, blood-red, and showing quarter its usual size. The smoke-pall itself, viewed from beneath, was a rose color that pulsed and fluttered with lavender shades Then it turned to mauve and yellow and dun. There was no sun. And so dawned the second day on stricken San Francisco.

An hour later I was creeping past the shattered dome of the City Hall. Than it there was no better exhibit of the destructive force of the earthquake. Most of the stone had been shaken from the great dome, leaving standing the naked framework of steel. Market Street was piled high with the wreckage, and across the wreckage lay the overthrown pillars of the City Hall shattered into short crosswise sections.

This section of the city with the exception of the Mint and the Post-Office, was already a waste of smoking ruins. Here and there through the smoke, creeping warily under the shadows of tottering walls, emerged occasional men and women. It was like the meeting of the handful of survivors after the day of the end of the world.

Beeves Slaughtered and Roasted

On Mission Street lay a dozen steers, in a neat row stretching across the street just as they had been struck down by the flying ruins of the earthquake. The fire had passed through afterward and roasted them. The human dead had been carried away before the fire came. At another place on Mission Street I saw a milk wagon. A steel telegraph pole had smashed down sheer through the driver's seat and crushed the front wheels. The milk cans lay scattered around.

All day Thursday and all Thursday night, all day Friday and Friday night, the flames still raged on.

Friday night saw the flames finally conquered. through not until Russian Hill and Telegraph Hill had been swept and three-quarters of a mile of wharves and docks had been licked up.

The Last Stand

The great stand of the fire-fighters was made Thursday night on Van Ness Avenue. Had they failed here, the comparatively few remaining houses of the city would have been swept. Here were the magnificent residences of the second generation of San Francisco nabobs, and these, in a solid zone, were dynamited down across the path of the fire. Here and there the flames leaped the zone, but these fires were beaten out, principally by the use of wet blankets and rugs.

San Francisco, at the present time, is like the crater of a volcano, around which are camped tens of thousands of refugees At the Presidio alone are at least twenty thousand. All the surrounding cities and towns are jammed with the homeless ones, where they are being cared for by the relief committees. The refugees were carried free by the railroads to any point they wished to go, and it is estimated that over one hundred thousand people have left the peninsula on which San Francisco stood. The Government has the situation in hand, and, thanks to the immediate relief given by the whole United States, there is not the slightest possibility of a famine. The bankers and business men hare already set about making preparations to rebuild San Francisco.

Photographs were taken with a Canon S50 camera

Images and Text Copyright © by Neil Mishalov


Topographic Map of the Area with a GPS Tracked Route Superimposed

Hike data gathered with a Garmin 60C GPS RECEIVER

Topographic mapping program for Macintosh OSX by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

Satellite Photo Map of the Area with a GPS Tracked Route Superimposed

TerraBrowser satellite mapping program for Macintosh OSX by CHIMOOSOFT

GPS track converter by GPSBABEL

Panoramic view from Sonoma Mountain at an elevation of 2,350 feet; looking east southeast. Mount Burdell, Mount Diablo and part of Mount Saint Helena can be seen in this panoramic photo. Can you identify the three mountains?

Scroll = = = = = > to see the complete panoramic image

Click on an image to see the full size picture
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Glen Ellen, California, located in the Valley of the Moon, is the site of the entrance to Jack London's 'Beauty Ranch.' The sherry barn. Constructed by Chinese laborers in 1884 for the Kohler and Frohling winery. Originally used to make sherry wine. London converted it to a stable for his English shire horses. The sherry barn.
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Distillery building. Constructed in 1888 as part of the winery. London's ranch hands used the building to store and repair farm equipment. Foundation of the Kohler and Frohling winery; constructed in the 1880's. The building was heavily damaged by the 1906 earthquake. London used it as a carriage house and living quarters for ranch hands. Foundation remains of the Kohler and Frohling winery.
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This was the main vineyard of the London ranch. It is not part of the park; It is owned by the estate of Irving Sheppard, a deceased nephew of Jack London. Tokay grapes are being grown here. The vineyard. Pig Palace. This unique piggery was designed by London and constructed in 1915. Laid out in a circle to save labor, the piggery's central feedhouse is surrounded by 17 pens.
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Pig Palace. I believe that this site, just downhill from the piggery, was where the manure was processed. Silos. Erected between 1912 and 1915, these cement-block silos stand over 40 feet high. They once held silage-fodder-made by cutting up green forage plants.
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Valerie striking a pose at the Beauty Ranch smokehouse. This smoker was conveniently located near the pig palace. Heading up the eastern flank of Sonoma Mountain. Looking east at the Valley of the Moon and the hills that separate the Valley of the Moon and the Napa Valley.
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Another view of the Valley of the Moon. There is a bench at this location, and this is the tree cover above the bench. Mount Saint Helena, 4,343 feet. Looking northeast.
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Mount Burdell, 1,512 feet. Looking southwest. Valerie reading up on Jack London and 'Beauty Ranch.' We are at the highest point of the park: 2,350 feet. Wolf House. By August 1913, London had spent approximately $80,000 to construct his dream house . On 22 August 1913, just prior to Jack and Charmian's occupancy, the house burnt down.
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The water storage platform.
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Water storage platform.
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The reflection pool.
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Jack London died on 22 November 1916, just shy of his 41st birthday. His wife Charmian died in 1955, at age 83, and her ashes are interred next to Jack's ashes.
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The grave stone.

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