About the property
- Half Baths0
- Minimum Stay3 nights
Farmhouse, 2 Bedrooms + Other (See Description), 2 Baths, (Sleeps 4)
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
Gillian Russell Gilhool, Trustee
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within two days
- Calendar last updated:
- May 22, 2018
About Gillian Russell Gilhool, Trustee
Julian and Stoneapple Farm is our country haven now after many satisfying years practicing law in the public interest. Having met at law school in Connecticut, we spent most of our life together in Philadelphia, PA, Tom's native habitat, raising two children, each now with two children of their own on either side of the country.
Gillian Russell Gilhool, Trustee purchased this Farmhouse in 2008
Why Gillian Russell Gilhool, Trustee chose Julian
I first saw Julian with my California aunt and uncle when I was 14. Years later, living in Los Angeles with husband and small children, we celebrated Thanksgivings and Christmas with Aunt Jane at Stoneapple Farm. The beauty and embrace of the house and land brought us back and back again. We inherited it from the aunt who loved and constantly renewed the culture of Stoneapple Farm for fifty years. We have the great fortune now to be able to spend several months a year at Stoneapple, our country house far from Philadelphia, PA that you too can welcome the chance to enjoy in its every aspect.
Pool / Spa
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Sports & Adventure Activities
‘Back to Simpler Times’ describes Stoneapple.
There is a tremendous amount of history associated with this property. It is unique, mysterious and inviting. Seriously relaxing and peaceful as well. The owner and her caretaker are wonderful to work with. I can’t recommend this property enough!
Cozy, lovely little cottage
My husband and I got back recently from a weekend getaway at Stoneapple Farm, and we had a marvelous time! Everything was bright and green from the recent rain, and there were tons of flowers, little streams, and other Spring treats to look at. Our Corgi had a marvelous time hopping through the grass :)
The cottage itself is a homey little place with a lot of atmosphere. I don't know how I managed this, but I rented the place without really realizing who the former owner/author was - and then while doing the initial walk-through of the house, had that moment of revelation - "Oh, *that* Scott O'Dell!" This former librarian is a little embarrassed. I was absolutely thrilled to spend a few nights in the place where one of my favorite childhood books was written. The cottage has a lot of little touches that make it feel like a home, and we were very comfortable while there - it's the perfect place to while some time away reading, playing board games, or going for a walk. Keep an eye out for the wild turkeys and herds of deer...we saw both several times.
We just returned from our Fourth of July holiday spent at this lovely farmhouse. We were happy to see that previous reviews were spot-on, this really is the perfect getaway. We were impressed with how well appointed the house was, amazingly clean and comfortable, and with so much character!
Our dogs had a blast running in the acres behind the house, but then we could also safely secure them in the fenced-in back yard.
The town of Julian was as quaint as could be, especially during the 4th of July when everyone came together to celebrate, parade and all. We had plenty to do and see in this little town, from wine tastings to local artisan shopping, then we headed back to the cozy cottage to relax and enjoy our surroundings.
I definitely recommend this property, plus the owner was very professional and efficient in handling the entire process.
Quaint, Cozy Retreat
What a wonderful weekend spent at Stoneapple Farm. The property itself is 4+ acres of perfect space, with the home nestled in the center. The cottage, as other reviewers have noted, is comfortable, cozy, and has such unique character. While exploring Julian, we found many locals who knew the Odell family personally, and spoke of their own fondness for Stoneapple. I was also very impressed with the back yard's enclosed fencing, which allowed our dog to run and have his own space. I will be booking another stay as soon as I can!
Incredibly cozy & magical retreat
I can't recommend this property enough. The cottage is a charming retreat. The weekend of my stay, all of San Diego County was deluged with about 5 inches of rain, which meant all of the outdoor activities I had planned for the weekend had to be cancelled. Fortunately, exploring this cottage was an adventure in itself.
While the rain fell in sheets outside, we stoked a roaring fire in the large fireplace, browsed the hundreds of unique books lining the walls, listened to the stereo, and kept a hot kettle going on the stove for tea. The cottage is spacious, with a large master suit and has two clean and modern bathrooms. It's just a few minutes' drive into Julian, but sits off of the main road in a very quiet and serene area. On the last day of my trip (of course!) the rain stopped and the sun and singing birds returned, revealing the beauty of the property: soft grass, hundreds of daffodils, a large and fragrant rosemary bush, and an enormous tree complete with old fashioned swing from its boughs. I absolutely hope to return here one day in the future; it's the ideal spot for a weekend (or longer) escape.
Stoneapple Farm ..our new second home
We loved our stay at Stoneapple Farm! Branden from Maui said it best. It is a property I fantasize about owning. It was cold when we were there but we spent hours in front of the large, cozy fireplace spending time NOT using technology. We played cards, read stories... Our son enjoyed the awesome tree swing and flying his kite. I loved preparing meals in the kitchen while watching deer graze under one of the many mature oak trees. On our last night we were treated to a light snowfall and in the morning it was beautiful. Even though you are close to Julian downtown you feel miles away from it all.
We are planning a trip back there in the Spring. It is a one of a kind property. We highly recommend!
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
Rates subject to change until reservations confirmed. Rates lower after third night to $125. Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year Holiday rates higher. New Year 2014-2015 remaining open dates December 27-January 5 rates are $250 a night, with 5 night minimum, or $1350 for week, both plus $75 cleaning fee and the $200 fully refundable security deposit.
Rates are subject to change until reservation is confirmed. Payment is by check with return of signed agreement which will be emailed to guest for approval, signature and return. Less than three or four days notice is difficult to accommodate. Sorry!