Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Last updated
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.jpg
The park's McWay Cove with McWay Falls
Relief map of California.png
Red pog.svg
Usa edcp relief location map.png
Red pog.svg
Location Monterey County, California, United States
Nearest city Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Coordinates 36°10′15″N121°40′23″W / 36.17083°N 121.67306°W / 36.17083; -121.67306 Coordinates: 36°10′15″N121°40′23″W / 36.17083°N 121.67306°W / 36.17083; -121.67306
Area3,762 acres (1,522 ha)
Established1962
Governing body California Department of Parks and Recreation

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a state park in California, 12 miles south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on California's Pacific coast. [1] A main feature of the park is McWay Falls, which drops over a cliff of 80 feet (24 m) into the Pacific Ocean. The park is also home to 300-foot (90 m) redwoods which are over 2,500 years old. [2] The park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a respected resident and rancher in the Big Sur region in the early 20th century, who lived in the area for much of her life until her death in 1928. [3] The 3,762-acre (1,522 ha) park was established in 1962. [4]

Contents

Location and history

Saddle Rock Ranch

Christopher and Rachel McWay homesteaded the property in the late 1870s. In 1924, former U.S. Representative Lathrop Brown and his wife Hélène bought the ranch from McWay. Julia Pfeiffer Burns, daughter of pioneer homesteader Michael Pfeiffer, married John Burns in 1914 at age 47, and leased pasture from the Browns. A daughter of the first permanent settlers of European origin in Big Sur, she and her husband leased a ranch at Burns Creek and leased pasture from the McWays at Saddle Rock Ranch. Hélène formed a close friendship with Julia until she died in 1928. [5]

The Browns first built a rough redwood cabin on a site at the top of cliffs opposite McWay Falls. They replaced that in 1940 with a modern two-story home named Waterfall House. The entryway was inlaid with an ornamental brass fish, a gold octopus, and a compass rose. The interior was decorated with fine furnishings and classic paintings. [5] [6] Construction of the Carmel San Simeon Highway lasted from 1919–1937. During this time, Saddle Rock Ranch foreman Hans Ewoldsen worked in the machine shop of the highway construction crew to build a Pelton wheel. He used hand-split redwood from the canyon and other materials he bought. He installed the wheel on McWay Creek in 1932. The undershot wheel ran a 32-volt generator and was the first electric power in the Big Sur area. It supplied power to three residences, a blacksmith shop, and the Funicular railway. [3]

Tin House

In 1944, during World War II, they decided to build a house three miles inland on a ridge high above the fog. War-time rationing of vital supplies included building materials required some ingenuity. A side impact of the rationing was that gasoline was in short supply, forcing some gas stations out of business. [7]

The Browns bought two abandoned gas station buildings. They selected a site on a ridge 1,960 ft (597m) above the coast. They had a 3 miles (4.8 km) road to the site built, hired a crew to haul the tin gas station parts up the steep road, and paid an architect to assemble a home using the various parts of the two gas stations. [7]

When complete, the distinctive, modern house had bold lines. It had a kitchen, living room, and quarters for a maid. The family called it the Gas Station, although it later become known as Tin House. The views from the home included those from the main windows in the large living room which looked not out to sea but up and down the coast. A wall was constructed facing due west to block out the intense, direct rays of the afternoon sun. The living room was richly painted in blue. [8]

But despite the sights above the reach of the fog, the Browns only spent one night in the new residence. They hadn't anticipated the metal siding and roof expanding and contracting with the daytime heat and night time cold, and the noisy popping and creaking that accompanied it. After one sleepless night, they never returned. [8]

Land donated

Lathrop and Hélène left Big Sur for Florida in 1956 where Lathrop died in 1959. In 1961 Hélène Hooper Brown donated the entire property to the state, stipulating that it be used as a park and named for her good friend, Julia Pfeiffer Burns, "a true pioneer." She included the requirement that Waterfall House be converted into a "museum for the custody and display of indigenous Indian relics, flora and fauna of the California coastal area, and historical objects pertaining to the Big Sur country.". [5] The museum could not be completed in time for several reasons, including a competing museums, shortage of funds, and poor access to the site. As required by the terms of the gift, the mansion was demolished in 1965. [9] [10] [11]

Recreation

McWay Falls McWay Falls Big Sur May 2011 001.jpg
McWay Falls

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park has two environmental hike-in camping areas, named by Sunset magazine as one of the "four best places to pitch a tent on the Pacific Coast." [12] Both sites have exceptional views of the Pacific Coast, but access is restricted to those with camping reservations. The Julia Pfeiffer Burns Underwater Area is a popular location for scuba diving.

The summer 2008 California wildfires burned the upper parts of the park, but were stopped at Highway 1 and did not affect the camping sites. In early 2009 the many non-native acacia trees around the campsites were removed in order to restore vegetation native to the Big Sur Coast. Indigenous plants and trees were then planted, but will take time to grow fully.

Campsite 2 and Mano Seca Bench Campsite 2 - Julia Pfeiffer Burns S.P.jpg
Campsite 2 and Mano Seca Bench

There are two ways to hike to the Tin House. The Tanbark Trail, located on the south side of the highway bridge, is a seven-mile (11 km) round trip hike with a total 2,000 feet (610 m) elevation gain. The second route is the road used to bring construction materials to the site from Highway 1. It is one mile shorter, but much steeper and less scenic. [13]

Marine protected areas

Big Creek State Marine Reserve and Big Creek State Marine Conservation Area are marine protected areas offshore from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.

See also

Related Research Articles

Big Sur Region of California in the United States

Big Sur is a rugged and mountainous section of the Central Coast of California between Carmel Highlands and San Simeon, where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. It is frequently praised for its dramatic scenery. Big Sur has been called the "longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States", a sublime "national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development", and "one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation". The views, redwood forests, hiking, beaches, and other recreational opportunities have made Big Sur a popular destination for about 7 million people who live within a day's drive and visitors from across the world. It is among the top 35 tourist destinations world-wide. The region receives about the same number of visitors as Yosemite National Park, but offers only limited bus service, few restrooms, and a narrow two-lane highway that for most of its length clings to the steep coastal cliffs. North-bound traffic during the peak summer season and holiday weekends is often backed up for about 20 miles (32 km) from Big Sur Village to Carmel. Due to the large number of visitors, congestion and slow traffic between Carmel and Posts is becoming the norm.

Andrew Molera State Park State park in California, United States

Andrew Molera State Park is a relatively undeveloped state park on the Big Sur coast of California, United States, preserving land as requested by former owner Frances Molera. Situated at the mouth of the Big Sur River, the property was part of the Rancho El Sur land grant, and later owned by Californio pioneer John Bautista Rogers Cooper and his descendants. Cooper's grandchildren Andrew and Frances Molera inherited the property from their mother in 1918. Andrew popularized the artichoke in California in 1922, and died in 1931. In 1965, Frances sold the property to The Nature Conservancy, stipulating that the park to be created should be named for her brother.

Bixby Creek Bridge Highway bridge on the Big Sur Coast of California

Bixby Creek Bridge, also known as Bixby Canyon Bridge, on the Big Sur coast of California, is one of the most photographed bridges in California due to its aesthetic design, "graceful architecture and magnificent setting". It is a reinforced concrete open-spandrel arch bridge. The bridge is 120 miles (190 km) south of San Francisco and 13 miles (21 km) south of Carmel in Monterey County along State Route 1.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park State park in California, United States

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a state park in Monterey County, California, near the area of Big Sur on the state's Central Coast. It covers approximately 1,006 acres (4.07 km2) of land. The park is centered on the Big Sur River. It has been nicknamed a "mini Yosemite." Redwood trees are known to live up to 2,200 years. A tree in the park nicknamed the Colonial Tree is estimated to be between 1,100 and 1,200 years old.

Big Sur River River in California, United States

The Big Sur River is a 15.7-mile-long (25.3 km) river on the Central Coast of California. The river drains a portion of the Big Sur area, a thinly settled region of the Central California coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. The upper river and watershed lies within the Ventana Wilderness and encompasses the headwaters downstream to the area known as the Gorge. The lower river flows roughly northwest through Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, the Big Sur village, several private camp grounds and Andrew Molera State Park where it flows through a lagoon and sandbar into the Pacific Ocean at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Major Tributaries of the river include, in order: Redwood Creek, Lion Creek, Logwood Creek, Terrace Creek, Ventana Creek, Post Creek, Pfeiffer-Redwood Creek, Juan Higuera Creek, and Pheneger Creek.

Little Sur River River in California, United States

The Little Sur River is a 25.4-mile (40.9 km) long river on the Central Coast of California. The river and its main tributary, the South Fork, drain a watershed of about 40 square miles (100 km2) of the Big Sur area, a thinly settled region of the Central California coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. The South Fork and the North Fork both have their headwaters in the Ventana Wilderness, straddling Mount Pico Blanco. Portions west of the national forest and Old Coast Road lie within the El Sur Ranch. Some portions of the North Fork are on land owned by Granite Rock Company of Watsonville, California, which has owned the mineral rights to 2,800 acres (1,100 ha) on Mount Pico Blanco since 1963. The North and South forks converge about 2 miles (3.2 km) from the coast where the river enters the Pacific Ocean.

Lathrop Brown

Lathrop Brown was a wealthy United States Representative from New York. Born in New York City, he graduated from Groton School in 1900 and from Harvard University in 1903, where he was roommates with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He engaged in the real estate business and served in Squadron A of the National Guard of New York, for five years.

Garrapata State Park State park in California, United States

Garrapata State Park is a state park of California, United States, located on California State Route 1 6.7 miles (10.8 km) south of Carmel and 18 miles (29 km) north of Big Sur Village on the Monterey coast. The 2,939-acre (1,189 ha) park was established in 1979. California sea lions, harbor seals and sea otters frequent the coastal waters while gray whales pass close by during their yearly migration.

Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve

The Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve is a constituent of the University of California Natural Reserve System. It is located off State Route 1 in the Big Sur area on California's central coast, fifty miles south of Monterey and adjacent to the Big Creek State Marine Reserve and Big Creek State Marine Conservation Area.

McWay Falls Waterfall in California, United States

McWay Falls is an 80-foot-tall (24 m) waterfall on the coast of Big Sur in central California that flows year-round from McWay Creek in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, about 37 miles (60 km) south of Carmel, into the Pacific Ocean. During high tide, it is a tidefall, a waterfall that empties directly into the ocean. The only other tidefall in California is Alamere Falls.

Monterey County attractions

Monterey County is a county on the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California, its northwestern section forming the southern half of Monterey Bay. As of 2000, the population was 401,762. The coastline includes Big Sur, State Route 1, and the 17 Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula. The city of Monterey was the capital of California under Spanish and Mexican rule. The economy is primarily based upon tourism in the coastal regions, and agriculture in the Salinas Valley. Monterey County was home to writer and Nobel prize laureate John Steinbeck, writer Robert Louis Stevenson, and California poet Robinson Jeffers.

Notleys Landing, California Unincorporated community in California, United States

Notleys Landing is an uninhabited former community in the Big Sur region of Monterey County, California. It is located near the mouth of the Palo Colorado Canyon 11 miles (18 km) south of the Carmel River, at an elevation of 112 feet.

Posts, California Unincorporated community in California, United States

Posts is an Unincorporated community in the Big Sur region of Monterey County, California. It is located on Pacific Coast Highway, a.k.a. Highway 1 or the Cabrillo Highway near Post Creek, 0.5 miles (0.80 km) southeast of the unincorporated area of Loma Vista and 3 miles (4.8 km) east-southeast of Pfeiffer Point, at an elevation of 945 feet.

Slates Hot Springs Place in California, United States

Slates Hot Springs is the site of a hot spring in the Big Sur region of Monterey County, California. It is located 8 miles (13 km) north-northwest of Lopez Point, at an elevation of 118 feet.

McWay Creek

McWay Creek is a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) coastal stream in Monterey County in the U.S. state of California. It flows steeply west and south from McWay Canyon, high in California's Central Coast Range, and spills into the Pacific Ocean at Waterfall Cove after flowing over scenic McWay Falls. Most of the creek and its watershed are contained within Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, 12 miles (19 km) south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The creek is named after Christopher McWay from New York, a pioneer who homesteaded the property.

Big Creek State Marine Reserve and Marine Conservation Area

Big Creek State Marine Reserve (SMR) and Big Creek State Marine Conservation Area (SMCA) are two adjoining marine protected areas that lie offshore of Big Sur on California's central coast. The combined area of these marine protected areas is 22.45 square miles (58.1 km2). The SMR protects all marine life within its boundaries. Fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited. Within the SMCA fishing and take of all living marine resources is prohibited except the commercial and recreational take of salmon, albacore, and the commercial take of spot prawn.

Anderson Canyon

Anderson Canyon in the Big Sur region of California was named after pioneering homesteaders James and Peter Andersen who were the first European settlers of the area. The canyon, Anderson Creek, and Anderson Peak are south of McWay Falls and within the boundaries of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Palo Colorado Canyon, California Unincorporated community in California, United States

Palo Colorado Canyon is an unincorporated community in the Big Sur region of Monterey County, California. The canyon entrance is located 11.3 miles (18.2 km) south of Carmel Valley River at the former settlement of Notley's Landing, 6.5 miles (10 km) north of Point Sur, and at an elevation of 112 feet.

Big Sur Coast Highway Scenic section of California State Route 1

Big Sur Coast Highway is a section of California State Route 1 through the Big Sur region of California that is widely considered to be one of the most scenic driving routes in the United States, if not the world. It is both a National Scenic Highway and a California Scenic Highway, and was described by Australian painter Francis McComas as the "greatest meeting of land and water in the world". Condé Nast Traveler named State Route 1 through Big Sur one of the top 10 world-famous streets, comparable to Broadway in New York City and the Champs-Élysées in Paris. The road itself is a destination for visitors.

Big Sur Village, California Unincorporated community in California, United States

Big Sur is an unincorporated community village in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. It is located along a 1 mile (1.6 km) long stretch of Big Sur Coast Highway in the Big Sur Valley 24 miles (39 km) south of Carmel, California. The village contains the largest collection of shops and visitor services along the entire 71-mile (114 km) segment of California State Route 1 between Malpaso Creek near Carmel Highlands in the north and San Carpóforo Creek near San Simeon in the south. The population is about 1,463. The collection of small roadside businesses and homes is often confused with the larger region, also known as Big Sur. On March 6, 1915, United States Post Office granted the English-speaking resident's request to change the name of their post office from Arbolado to Big Sur. Caltrans also refers to the village as Big Sur.

References

  1. See Monterey: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
  2. Kinneberg, Caroline (August 2010). "America's Most Beautiful Coastal Views". Travel+Lesiure. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
  3. 1 2 "Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP". California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
  4. "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10" (PDF). California State Parks: 24. Retrieved 2012-07-04.Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. 1 2 3 Canright, Anne (Summer 1997). "Waterfall Trail on Big Sur" (PDF). California Coast and Ocean. California Coastal Conservancy and the California Academy of Sciences. 13 (2). Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  6. "House with a View". Historical Marker Database. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  7. 1 2 Almanzan, Krista. "The Myth and Mystery of the Tin House". The California Report. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  8. 1 2 Henson, Paul (December 10, 1996). The Natural History of Big Sur (paperback ed.). University of California Press. p. 355. ISBN   978-0520205109 . Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  9. Grossman, Pam Canfield. "Lathrop Brown, Long After Harvard". The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  10. "Lathrop Brown, Political Dilettante" . Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  11. Henson, Paul; Donald Usner (1993). The Natural History of Big Sur . Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press. pp.  328–29. ISBN   9780520074668.
  12. "Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park". See Monterey, CA. Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
  13. "Tanbark Trail & Tin House". HikinginBigSur.com. Retrieved 3 August 2016.

Further reading