California Historical Landmarks in Inyo County

California Historical Landmark 229
Austin Home
253 Market Street

California Historical Landmark #229: Mary Austin Home
  California Historical Landmark #229: Mary Austin Home
17 February 2007
(Click Photo to Zoom)

Mary Austin's Home
1868 - 1934

"But if ever you come beyond the borders as far as the town that lies in a hill dimple at the foot of Kearsarge, never leave it until you have knocked at the door of the brown house under the willow-tree at the end of the village street, and there you shall have such news of the land, of its trails and what is astir in them, as one lover of it can give to another . . ." The Land of Little Rain

Historical Landmark No. 229
California State Park Commission

Mary Hunter Austin - novelist, poet, critic, playwright, feminist - was born in Illinois in 1868. In 1888, she accompanied her parents when they relocated to California's San Joaquin Valley. Three years later, she married Stafford Wallace Austin and the couple moved to Independence where they designed the house that is now a California Historical Landmark.

After the people of Owens Valley lost the battle to prevent Los Angeles from diverting the Owens River to support the orange groves and suburbs of the Southland, Stafford moved to Death Valley and Mary moved to Carmel where her friends included Jack London, Ambrose Bierce, and George Sterling.

She died in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1934.

Her best known work is The Land of Little Rain, a collection of essays about the Southwest. A 1950 edition was illustrated with photographs by Ansel Adams.

Prev | Next
Inyo County: List | Map
California: List | Map