“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Big Sur in Monterey County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

House with a View

House with a View Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 5, 2013
1. House with a View Marker
Captions: Guests traveled up and down the hill in a modified mining car operated by a cable. The Browns called the 100-foot-long funicular (incline railway) “The Big Sur and Pacific Railway.” (top center); Waterfall House c. 1950 (top right); Lathrop Brown married Helen Hooper of Boston in 1911. Helen was heiress to the Hooper family fortunes from Ames Shovel Company and Bank of Boston. Brown was elected Congressman from New York in 1913. (center right); View from the bedroom (bottom right).
Inscription. A luxurious home enjoyed magnificent views from this site.

These walls and terraces are all that remain of a residence built in 1940 for Lathrop and Helen Hooper Brown. The Browns decorated the house with art by Degas, Dufy and Gauguin. They left the ranch for Florida in 1956, never to return. Lathrop died there in 1956 at age 76.

Helen gave Saddle Rock Ranch to the people of California as a State Park in 1961. She specified that the park be named in memory of her friend, Julia Pfeiffer Burns, “a true pioneer.” The State was unable to use the house for a “public purpose,” and it was demolished in 1966 to comply with the requirements of Mrs. Brown’s gift deed.
Erected by Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
Location. 36° 9.603′ N, 121° 40.403′ W. Marker is near Big Sur, California, in Monterey County. Marker is on Cabrillo Highway (Route 1), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 53000 Cabrillo Highway, Big Sur CA 93920, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Two Women From Two Worlds (here, next to this marker);
House with a View Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 5, 2013
2. House with a View Marker
Cooper Cabin (approx. 13.3 miles away).
More about this marker. This marker is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park approximately 11 miles south of Big Sur and 52 miles north of the Monterey/San Luis Obispo county line. The exit for the park is on the left when heading south. From the parking lot take the McWay Waterfall trail to the end to find this marker.
Also see . . .  Waterfall Trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park - Pelican Network. What brought the Browns to Big Sur is not entirely clear. One story has it that one of their two daughters had learned about this stretch of the California coast in school. The family came to look, and fell in love with the place. (Submitted on September 13, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
Additional comments.
1. History of the McWay Waterfall Home
As a teenager I grew up in Big Sur. My father worked at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. After Helen Hooper Brown's death, she left her home and property at McWay Cove to the State Park system with the condition that the home be turned into a museum and arts center within a short period of time or that it be demolished. Sadly, it was demolished. I was fortunate to have visited
McWay Waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 5, 2013
3. McWay Waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
the home. I recall the ride down the mountain side on the funicular to the flagstone terrace and the entrance into a magnificent foyer. My remembrance may have embellished it through time (this would have been in the early 1960s) but I recall a black stone entry foyer, oval, with the tentacles of an octopus in gold splayed out about the floor and an enormous staircase dropping down into a large high-ceilinged room with enormous glass windows facing the sea. The small bedroom that overlooked the cove and waterfall was painted black with stars on the ceiling, the window covered by black Venetian Blinds, a smallish antique bed, nightstand and clock radio the only furniture in the room. The bathroom was all a very deep Prussian Blue tile with bits of gold and mirrors positioned in such a way as to create endless repetitions. It was a magical though peculiar home. I wish there were more images of it to be found on the Internet. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted September 30, 2014, by Dennis Hanshew of Oakland, California.

Categories. Arts, Letters, Music
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 13, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 1,086 times since then and 130 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 13, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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