Friday, January 19, 2007

More History in Sonoma

Up the valley from the city of Sonoma is the small town of Glen Ellen. Just up the hill from the center of town is Jack London State Park; located on the site of Jack London's Beauty Ranch.

Jack London is one of America's great writers. Born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland, Jack London wrote extensively about nature, politics, and the social conditions of late 19th and early 20th century America. After becoming successful, London and his wife, Charmian, purchased land overlooking the Sonoma Valley that they named the Beauty Ranch. Here London wrote, farmed, and supervised the construction of his dream home, the Wolf House. Tragically, the Wolf House was destroyed by fire shortly before the Londons were to move in. The cause of the fire was never discovered.

There is a museum in The House of Happy Walls, which Charmian built as her home after Jack died. You also can see the Wolf House ruins and remnants of the Londons' farm. Hiking, biking, and horse riding trails provide beautiful views of the Sonoma Valley.

If you are a Jack London fan, or just want to learn more about this charismatic author, I recommend a visit to Jack London State Park. It is located just up the road from Benziger winery, which I wrote about on June 10, 2006, so you can combine history with wine tasting.

If you would like to take a private tour of the Sonoma Valley that includes a visit to the Beauty Ranch, please call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

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