The Jack London State Historic Park is a historic state park situated on the slopes of the Sonoma Mountain in California. Also known as the Jack London Home and Ranch, or Jack London's “Beauty Ranch,” the Jack London State Historic Park honors the memory of American novelist, journalist, and social activist, John Griffith "Jack" London. The 1400-acre park features the Beauty Ranch, the Wolf House ruins, which was the original home the family lived in until it burned down, the cottage in which the family lived after the fire, the House of Happy Walls Museum, and the graves of and Jack London and his wife. The property, which is both a California Historical Landmark and a National Historic Landmark, is situated between the towns of Sonoma and Santa Rosa in Sonoma County and has over 20 miles of walking and hiking trails to enjoy.



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History

The Jack London State Historic Park was formerly occupied by the Kohler & Frohling winery before it was purchased by Jack London in 1905 who had hopes of becoming a rancher. The Wolf House mansion was built in 1910, however, burned to the ground before being completed and the family moved to a small cottage on the property, now known as The Winery Cottage. London died in 1916, and his wife, Charmian inherited the property, after which she built a smaller version of the Wolf House to honor Jack’s memory that she called The House of Happy Walls. Mrs. London lived there until her death in 1955, where after The House of Happy Walls became a museum and the property was opened to the public as the Jack London State Historic Park in 1959.

Park Features

The 1400-acre park is home to the ruins of what was once Wolf House, the Winery Cottage, the House of Happy Walls Museum, the graves of and Jack London and his wife and the rolling landscapes of the property which have over 20 miles of hiking trails.

Winery Cottage

The main living quarters of Jack London and his wife throughout his time on the ranch, the Winery Cottage was purchased in 1911 and remained the family home until he died in 1916.

House of Happy Walls

The House of Happy Walls was constructed in 1919 by Jack’s wife, Charmain London in memory of her husband. A smaller, more formal version of the original Wolf House mansion, The House of Happy Walls was furnished with many of the pieces that were intended for use in the main house before it burnt down. After Charmain London’s death in 1955, the house was opened as a museum of Jack London’s life and today serves as the visitor center and a museum for Jack London State Historic Park.

Wolf House Ruins and Jack and Charmian London's Graves

The ruins of the original Wolf House mansion that was burned down can be visited in the park, as well as the graves of Jack and Charmian London, who are both buried not far from the Wolf House.

Other

In addition to the historic buildings, the Jack London State Historic Park also features over 20 miles of hiking trails that wind their way through grassy meadows, oak woodlands, mixed forests, and redwood groves, and a lake. There are also several picnic areas in the park with picnic tables, barbecue stands, potable water, and plenty of shade.

Visitor Information

The Jack London State Historic Park is open to the public daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with different hours for the museum and the Cottage. The park offers a variety of self-guided and private tours, ranging from the Cottage & Beauty Ranch tour, which includes the Museum and London Cottage as well as a guided walk to the winery ruins, Pig Palace, and the stone barns to the Self-Guided Tour without a docent or guide. The Wolf House tour includes the Museum as well as a short walk to the Wolf House and the grave site, while the Senior Cottage tour is designed for visitors with a limited walking ability that arrives by bus and includes a visit the Museum, followed by a tour of the Beauty Ranch and Cottage interior.

2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, CA 95442, website, Phone: 707-938-5216

Back to: Northern California

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