Nestled between the golf courses and swanky homes of Carmel, California is a home that is both striking and strikingly out of place: a stone house reminiscent of an English Tudor cottage, with a two-story stone tower, almost cartoon-like because of the giant stones, standing alone in the center of the garden.
This house and tower were built by a poet named Robinson Jeffers in the 1920's. He chose the rugged, wind-battered but beautiful coastal land to settle with his wife Una and their two sons. Robinson decided to be the apprentice to the contractor of the house so that he could build the tower by himself. He collected the stones from the beach below his house. The end result was passionate, irregular, and rather heroic.
Robinson Jeffers' wrote mostly about nature. Carmel-by-the-Sea, sparsely inhabited at that time- and next to the wild, untamed mountains of Big Sur was the homestead he needed for continued inspiration.
It was in the house that Jeffers wrote much of his poetry, including a famous poem called Tor House, an ode to "the wild sea-fragrance of wind," "sea-worn granite," and "evenings strung in the throat of the valley like a lamp-lighted bridge." Jeffers left his legacy in words and stones, writing that his ghost is nestled between the granite rocks of Tor house: "my ghost you needn’t look for; it is probably Here, but a dark one, deep in the granite."
Take a tour of Tor house and join the ranks of the like of those who have visited before you: Sinclair Lewis, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Langston Hughes, Charles Lindbergh, George Gershwin and Charlie Chaplin.