This unique, 29-inch thick walled stone country writer's house looks out on six acres of sloping orchard and meadow with clusters of live oak, pear trees, and myriad daffodils every spring.
Built in the late 19th century of stone from the surrounding property as an apple storage and packing house, its thick walls and corrugated roof made it suitably cool for this use through sometime before World War II.
In the late 1940’s, an architect from San Marino recognized its unique character and bought the property to create a country house for himself and his wife. They broke through the walls for windows and doors on all sides which fill the house with light, and named it Stoneapple Farm. The stonemasons also crafted the large fireplace in the living room and a carpenter camped in the house for three months fashioning the country cupboards in the kitchen and pantry and original built-in bookshelves, which include 28 feet for cookbooks in the kitchen. The library throughout the house includes classic works of literature, southwest history, natural history and psychology.
Scott O’Dell, the novelist and Southwest historian, and his wife, Jane Dorsa O’Dell, bought Stoneapple Farm in 1956 and owned the house together until 1989. She lived at Stoneapple Farm for over fifty years until 2008. The house remains in the family. Ms. O'Dell wrote her advice column “Dear Jane Palmer” for the Los Angeles News Mirror while Scott was writing Island of the Blue Dolphins, Newbery Medal winner in 1961, then King’s Fifth and The Black Pearl, also for young readers.
The most recent book finished and foreword written at Stoneapple Farm is German author Dirk Rohrbach’s Americana: In 180 Tagen mit dem Rad einmal um die USA (Gebundene Ausgabe) (2009), an account of his 10,000-mile bicycle journey around the United States.
Keywords: Country house, historic, light-filled, gracious, quiet