Beauty Ranch (Photo by Mike Millar)

By Lynn Millar

I am a walker, a blogger about walking and a writer. The pending closure of Jack London State Historic Park next summer hits me particularly hard.

Last year, the park celebrated its 50th anniversary. A library room opened in the museum at the House of Happy Walls. Several years earlier volunteers restored Jack London’s cottage on Beauty Ranch. He spent the last years of his life here, writing, entertaining friends and running a ‘scientific’ ranch.

Jack London helped found California Writers Club (CWC) in 1909. Today, his ranch in Glen Ellen, CA serves as an inspiration to writers.

In honor of California Writers Week Oct 16-22nd, Redwood Writers Club, a local chapter of CWC is collecting donations to help saveJackLondonStateHistoricPark.

The state park is just over half of the original 1400-acreLondonranch. Almost 12 miles of trails go through vineyards and woodlands and as part of the Bay Ridge Trail, they connect to the Sonoma Mountain Trail Corridor.

Part of the park includes Wolf House (burned before theLondonscould move in) and the House of Happy Walls. This was Charmain London’s home after Jack died and contains a museum with collections from their sailing trip to the South Pacific.

Beauty Ranch, another part of the park includesLondon’s cottage and farm buildings. Less than a mile uphill is a dammed lake, where theLondonsand their guests swam.

For writers and historians, this park is both a rich resource about one ofAmerica’s great writers and a view of life in the early 1900s. For hikers and horseback riders, this park provides excellent trails through the mountains above theSonomaValley.

Budget reductions have already reduced open hours. Please visit Thursday through Monday,10am-4pm. The cottage is only open Saturday and Sunday. $8 per car. No extra fee for the museum at House of Happy Walls or at the cottage.

Your donation goes to making Jack London’s legacy live on. Money will go to the non-profit approved to run the park.

Please visit redwoodwriters.org/jacklondon/ for more information and a slideshow.

Send Donations: to Redwood Writers, “for JLP” PO Box 4687, Santa Rosa, CA 95402

 

Lynn Millar at http://backtowalking.wordpress.com/ or for my take on Jack London Park at shortlink: http://wp.me/pJscA-ex

Pictures by Mike Millar

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