Reimagined Historic Estate
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Year Built: 1896
Interior: 4,311 sq. ft. (approx.)
Land: 3.06 acres (approx.)
This historic Glen Ellen enclave was once the site of Wake Robin Lodge, a bucolic resort owned by Ninetta Eames who acted as Jack London’s agent and published many of his works in her magazine, The Overland Monthly. In the summer of 1903, Jack was writing “The Sea Wolf” and accepted an invitation from Ninetta to spend the summer at her lodge. London was fond of writing outdoors and penned the novel at a rustic table by the creek. It was a life-changing summer that cemented his love for the Valley of the Moon as well as his commitment to Ninetta’s niece, Charmian Kittredge. The following year, after a highly publicized divorce, Jack returned to Wake Robin where he and Charmain were married in November 1905. When not traveling, they made their home at Wake Robin Lodge where an annex had been built for their use. Over the years, the Lodge has been significantly remodeled and reimagined and is now a registered County landmark.
The lure of the quaint hamlet of Glen Ellen and its lush natural surroundings prompted London to buy his first piece of land in 1905. Using proceeds from his prolific writing career, he expanded the ranch by buying six more parcels for a total of 1,402 acres and named it “Beauty Ranch.” It was here that he built his famed Wolf House which burned down in 1913, a week before it was to be occupied. Never rebuilt, the ruins can be seen today as part of the 800-acre Jack London State Historic Park, established in 1960. Other attractions include the cottage in which the Londons lived and wrote, the House of Happy Walls museum, and the Londons’ grave. Also in the Park are the ruins of the Kohler & Frohling Winery, used by Sonoma-based Transcendence Theatre Company for open-air live performances.