Beauty Ranch

In 1905, London began purchasing property that became the Beauty Ranch. It had been farmed by homesteaders, and later became the Kohler-Frohling Winery. When Jack bought the land, the soil was worn out. After writing each morning, he turned to ranch management. He read the latest agricultural bulletins, consulted with the scientists at the University of California at Davis, and with Luther Burbank in Santa Rosa. He developed a vision of sustainable farming, where ranch materials recycled and as few resources as possible came from off site. He terraced the hillsides to lessen erosion, dammed a creek to provide gravity-fed irrigation, and used the manure from his livestock as fertilizer. He had a good eye for breeding, and won medals at the California State Fair for his animal husbandry. London's vision was prescient, but California agriculture was dominated by big business, and only today is his alternate model understood to have considerable benefits. A section of the ranch remains under grape cultivation for wine today. Larger versions of some of these photographs are available at
Farm buildings IMG_0801.JPG IMG_0804.JPG Smooth Italian crafted masonry IMG_0805.JPG
Manure storage barn IMG_0806.JPG Rough Chinese crafted masonry IMG_0807.JPG The Cottage where Charmian and Jack lived. IMG_0809.JPG
Jack London vinyard IMG_0810.JPG Rear of Cottage IMG_0812.JPG Jack's bedroom view IMG_0813.JPG
IMG_0815.JPG Oak outside Jack's den IMG_0821.JPG IMG_0822.JPG
Carriage house ruins IMG_0825.JPG Vinyard IMG_0830.JPG Pig Palace IMG_0831.JPG
IMG_0833.JPG Pig Palace IMG_0834.JPG Pig Palace IMG_0835.JPG
Burbank's "spineless" cactus IMG_0837.JPG Jack's office office Jack's notes notes
Jack's Annex annex