Ninetta and Roscoe Eames, who had published London’s earlier writings in their journal The Overland Monthly, owned a small resort just oﬀ Warm Springs Road called Wake Robin Lodge. This is where he wrote his popular novel White Fang— and courted their niece Charmian Kittridge, who his biographer Russ Kingman called “Jack’s soul-mate, always at his side, and a perfect match.”
Over the next few years they purchased a series of seven neighboring farms they called the Beauty Ranch— known today as the Jack London State Historic Park.
Jack’s coterie of artists and writers increased with his fame over the years. Many came to Glen Ellen to visit and to stay, contributing to the bohemian alternative life style of the region that can be felt to this day.
Although entranced by the beauty of the Valley of the Moon, Jack London also recognized the ways in which previous farming methods had greatly damaged the environment. “I am rebuilding worn-out hillside lands that were worked out and destroyed by our wasteful pioneer farmers,” he once wrote to a friend.
Jack began building his dream house— the “Wolf House”— in 1911. “I am,” he wrote, “only just now beginning my first feeble attempts at building a house for myself. That is to say, I am chopping down some redwood trees and leaving them in the woods to season against such a time, two or three years hence, when they will be used in building the house.” And yet two years later, and just days before they were ready to move into their new home, a fire of unknown origin gutted the house in 1913, leaving only the rock walls and chimneys.
A visit to Jack London State Historic Park, at the end of London Ranch Road just a quarter mile north on Arnold Drive, is well worth an afternoon’s visit.