In 1919, Henry Allen Rispin, an oil baron from San Francisco, bought the entire middle-class
resort town of Camp Capitola from the daughter of the late Frederick Hihn.
Rispin renamed the town Capitola-by-the-Sea in the French manner to lure San Francisco
society to his nascent California Côte d’Azur.
Rispin built this mansion in 1921. When he lost his fortune in 1929, he sold the property to a luckier
millionaire who never occupied it. In 1940, the Oblates of St. Joseph purchased it and ran it as a convent until 1965.
The building has been empty since the nuns left.