Carmel-by-the-Sea - Jane Powers Walkway Loop Plus Carmel Beach Walking Tour - Part 1

Carmel-by-the-Sea, a one square mile of village, is a plethora of walking possibilities with pleasurable panoramas.  This 2 mile round trip self-guided walking tour begins at 5th Avenue Deli, takes in the Fourth Street Trellis to view Mary Austin's Rose Cottage, then south toward the ocean to Palou Avenue which leads to the Jane Powers Walkway.

Jane will guide us to the Fourth Street steps of northern Carmel Beach. (Note: if you plan on walking on Carmel Beach check the tide report first for low tide and plan your walk accordingly.) We will return to 5th Avenue Deli via Fourth Avenue's Riparian Habitat Restoration passing Robinson and Una Jeffers first residence in Carmel on Monte Verde.  You won't see it unless I tell you where it is.

Here is a video of some of the highlights of this walk. 

 Our walk begins at the 5th Avenue Deli, south side of Fifth Avenue between San Carlos and Dolores, just north of the Carmel Post Office. 

 The aroma of the soup du jour wafting out of the entrance will entice you to visit for   

a coffee, or something more substantial from their extensive sandwich, salad or taco bar.

Call your order in ahead and have it waiting for you when you walk by. 5th Avenue Deli, is a family business that has been serving our community since 1991 - they won't disappoint.

With your provisions in hand set out west on Fifth Avenue past the Carmel Post Office, where Carmelites who live within the one square mile of village are required to visit in order to pick up their mail. 

The Bill Bates cartoon which hangs in the post office lobby is an accurate pictorial description. But I the corner of Dolores, cross Fifth Avenue to Carmelita Park.  

This tiny quiet oasis is a testament to the brilliance of Carmel-by-the-Sea's urban planning. Those picnic tables - they hide the entrance to a 100-car underground parking garage which services three senior housing buildings in town, Haseltine Court, Trevvett court and the adjacent Norton Court.  All are run by Carmel Foundation a remarkable organization for us Carmelites over 55 years of age.  

At Fifth Avenue and Lincoln turn right on to Lincoln.  Keep right of the trees which line the center of the street.  Trees trump cars in Carmel - so where ever they grow they command the right of way. If you are taller than I am (five feet on a good day) watch your head.  

I am not kidding when I make that statement.  In fact when you come to the end of this block, at Fourth Avenue and Lincoln the road gives way to a walkway.  Leave the roadway and enter the path and, as I said, watch your head.

For my Geocache friends there is a real tough one here called Lincoln Street Trestle. If you have extra time you might try your luck on this cache. I have found almost every cache in town - this one still alludes me. 

A short way down this path, before you reach the bench or wooden trestle ahead, 

stop and take a look to your left through the two trees, between the phone lines, above the roof of the brown house in the picture above is the best view of Rose Cottage, home of early Carmel bohemian, and author, Mary Austin.  

Mary Hunter was born in 1868 in Illinois.  She married Stafford Wallace Austin in 1891.  They had one child, Ruth, born in 1892 with a mental disability.  Ruth was institutionalized in 1905, the same year Mary's marriage to Stafford dissolved.

During the early 1900's, Mary began to seriously pursue writing.  While researching her novel Isidro in 1902 she visited Carmel. In 1904 Mary met George Sterling, and it would be her friendship with George that would bring her to Carmel to live in 1907.

Mary purchased a lot from Carmel Development Company on Lincoln Street north of Fourth Avenue.  Not having the funds to build a home on her lot at the time, she built what she called a "wick-i-up." Most mornings she would climb the wooden steps to the deck of the "wick-i-up" high in the pine trees.  It was there that she did her writing.

In 1911 Mary hired Carmel's master builder, M. J. Murphy to design her a home on the property.  The picture above shows the house sometime before April 1915.  Between 1911 and 1914, Mary Austin wrote at least six books and a play while living in this home. 

Subsequent owners have made additions and renovations over the years.  Today a portion of the ground floor is all that remains of the original M. J. Murphy design.  

Continue along the asphalt walkway, and pause for a moment to read the memorial on the park bench to Spike, 

"the coolest cat ever who lived at the foot bridge." 

Cross the wooden trellis to an open space

called Gill's Foot Path Park. Cross through this park to the
street on the other side. Looking back toward the wooden trellis you will view the scene shown below.  The bench and the "wood sculpture" to the left are part of Gill's Foot  Path Park. Walk down the little path on the right. 

This bring's you to the upper Lincoln Street gate of Mary Austin's house, Rose Cottage.  

Back out to Gill's Foot Path Park, take
 the stone and rock stairway 

to the street below.

It is here you will find the lower Lincoln Street gate of Mary Austin's house, Rose Cottage. With those kind of directions, how would you like to be a UPS driver in Carmel?  

We are now below the wooden trellis and back on Fourth Avenue heading west.  At the intersection of Fourth Avenue, Monte Verde, and Palou Avenue continue westward toward the ocean on Palou Avenue.  

To your right is Nonesuch, a 1500 square foot vacation rental that actually is renting within Carmel restrictions (which are a 30 day minimum).

Originally this home was built as an artist studio in 1933. It no longer looks anything like the original, but at an average of $333 per night, such a deal, don't you think?

Continue west on Palou Avenue, at the intersection of  N. Casanova Street turn right to see the front of the historic Comstock home, Sunwise Turn Cottage.  

This Tudor style cottage was built in 1929 by Hugh Comstock for Elspeth Rose who ran an antique shop on Ocean Avenue. 

Hugh Comstock is known in Carmel for his "Storybook" style architecture.  The majority of his "Storybook" cottages are located in the Historical Hill District of Carmel.  Please see this post for a self-guided walking tour of  the Historical Hill District. 

By the front door of Sunwise Turn the current owner has placed a miniature milk shrine. 

The milk shrine concept was created by Perry McDonald who opened the first commercial dairy in Carmel in 1916. McDonald placed these structures about every block and a half throughout the village. Customers left their money, empty milk jug, and a piece of paper with their order on the self and McDonald would service the shrines daily filling the order. Brilliant idea.   

An original milk shrine still exists in front of First Murphy House on the west side of Lincoln between Fifth and Sixth Avenues.  

Walk back on N. Casanova to Palou Avenue and turn right. 

This will lead you to the back of Sunwise Turn Cottage (shown above) and the entry to the Jane Powers Walkway (shown below).

Jane Gallatin Powers 

Jane Gallatin was born in Sacramento in 1868. When she was nine years old her family moved into the house at 1526 H Street.  

That was this house (shown above), the historic Governor's Mansion of California, built in 1877 for her father Albert Gallatin, a partner in the Sacramento hardware store of Huntington & Hopkins. 

Albert Gallatin's wealth made it possible for Jane to travel to Europe frequently.  It is there that she developed a love for art and painting. 

In 1891 Jane married Frank Powers, a San Francisco attorney.  In 1899, in lieu of being paid cash for some legal work, Frank was given a piece of land in what was the burgeoning village of Carmel-by-the-Sea.

At Carmel's Centennial Launch January 8, 2016, Kirk Gafill (shown above at the Centennial), the great-great-grandson of Frank Powers spoke about his great-great-grandfathers first visit to Carmel to check out his new property around 1899.  

"He took the train down to Monterey, and the stage coach over what was then Monterey Hill and camped out by what was then the ruins of Carmel Mission.  He woke up in the morning with the fog, walked around the ruins, wandered over through the pine trees down to the beach and saw the dunes and realized it was a very special place and in fact there was some value to the legal bill he had just collected on. By 1902 he had amassed about 80% of what is now the City of Carmel-by-the-Sea."   

"Frank and Jane Powers at one time held deeds to more than 1600 Carmel lots, and had their pick of any of them for their personal residence and art studio.  They chose to live among the sand dunes west of San Antonio Avenue, which already contained a ranch house and log barn, thanks to Irish pioneers who sixty years earlier decided that this spot was perfect, the end of the rainbow." (1)

On March 16, 1904, Frank H. Powers signed the deed taking possession of the ranch house and log barn from Ann Murphy. In Part 2 of the Jane Powers Walkway Loop Walking Tour we will walk by these properties

Jane Powers Walkway 

On May 29, 1999, Carmel Heritage Society dedicated a walkway that stretched from the middle of the block on Palou Avenue between Fourth Avenue and Second Avenue to N. San Antonio Avenue.  I have highlighted the walkway in yellow (above) on the 1906 Survey Map of Carmel-by-the-Sea filed by Carmel Development Co. in 1907.  

There was not much made of the dedication.  No article in the Pine Cone.  The only record is a wonderful video made by Carmel Heritage Society on the day of the dedication. I hope some day that this will be able to be shown publicly.  It featured short speeches by then Councilwoman Barbara Livingston, then President of Carmel Heritage, Jim Gallagher and the great-great-granddaughter of Jane Powers, artist Erin Gafill.  Erin and her uncle Seth Ulman cut the ribbon to the walkway.  Seth who is Jane's grandson, met his grandmother for the first time in Rome when it was being liberated from Germany, at the time he was a 24 year old medic with the US Army.  
The Jane Powers Walkway dedicated in 1999 very likely would have been the very same path Jane Powers would have taken from her home, The Dunes, to visit her friend Mary Austin in the early 1900's.

On this walk we will take the walkway in the opposite direction pausing to view interesting homes along the way. 
So now, we are on our way again. 

Head west toward the beach where Jane called home.  On the right as you enter the walkway is a house called Home

Very simply it is what we all want, a roof over our head, a place to call home.  This board and batten house with redwood siding was built in 1921 and is one of almost 300 homes listed on the Carmel Historical Resources Inventory. The architect and builder are listed as unknown.  So why is this home so important? It is a great example of a working class home in Carmel-by-the-Sea during the 1920's and was the home of Jennie Coleman.

In 1907, Jennie Coleman, a widow, relocated from New York to Carmel and became the managing owner of the Candy Kitchen on Ocean Avenue. Not stopping with that, Jennie went into real estate.  But wait there is more! Jennie was one of the original signers of the petition to incorporate Carmel in 1916.  In 1921 she moved into her Home

As you progress down this first corridor of the Jane Powers Walkway, the metal roadrunner fence decoration signals that you have arrived at DragonsFyre, a three story house built in 1999.  The "paparazzi" gate off the Jane Powers Walkway

is topped with a pair of dragons, and the fountain in the zen fire garden behind the gate drowns out the sound of the surf crashing a few blocks in the distance. 

If the VRBO advertisement it true, this place rents for a cool $388 per night.  

Lopez Avenue where you now stand, consists of only two short blocks.  From an architectural point of view they are quite interesting. On the west side just south of the Jane Powers Walkway are three unique houses designed by "Bay Area Style" architect Albert Henry Hill in 1961.  

The house above started out as Hill's vacation home.  By 1971 it had become his personal residence.  It remained in the Hill family until December of 2015 when it sold for $1,558,107.  The Kruse House to the north, which almost looks like an extension of Hill's house, was built for his business partner John Kruse and remains in the Kruse family. 

The third house of the Hill trilogy has the steeply angled folded roof and is shown above.  

To the north side of the Jane Powers Walkway as you enter from Lopez going west is By the Sea (shown above). This American Foursquare style home was built in 1905. Surely this house was passed by Jane Powers frequently.

At the entrance of Jane Powers Walkway on Camino Real
is a cute little Craftsman style home built in 1920 called Sunshine Cottage.  The original owner is identified by the 1920 Census as Blanche M. Ayles a proprietor and teacher. This one bedroom cottage is listed on Airbnb as a rental for $275 a night.   

On your last corridor block of the Jane Powers Walkway (between Carmelo and San Antonio) be prepared for watch dog "Anne." I actually have no idea what her or his name is but it is always the name that comes to mind when she greets me. Her name is probably Frank, but I have never made this walk, no matter how early in the morning, without "Anne" greeting me. I actually think she likes me because she always gives me a big humph after barking at me, as if to say - "oh it is you again."    

Immediately after chatting with "Anne" as you exit the Jane Powers Walkway you will get your first view of Pescadero Point at Pebble Beach. A view that I am sure Jane was well familiar with, since her artist studio is straight ahead of you.

See that chimney in the center of the picture above, that is part of the oldest dwelling in Carmel, built c. 1846 by Matthew M. Murphy a sea captain from Boston. He built this for his nephew John and his nephew's wife Ann who ran a dairy from this location between 1867 and 1871.  

This is where I leave you for Part 1 of the Jane Powers Walkway Loop Walking Tour.  Part 2 with pick it up from here.  Take us down to the Carmel Beach and back to where we started, the 5th Avenue Deli.  

For other Self-Guided Walking Tours see my  Index

Thanks for visiting.  Happy Adventures!

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(1) History of Murphy-Powers-Comstock Barn/Studio, prepared by Kirstie Wilde, April 12, 1993.
Photography by L. A. Momboisse unless listed below:

Photograph of Mary Austin c. 1900 taken by Charles Fletcher Lummis - Wikipedia

Photograph of Mary Austin and James Hopper in her "wick'i-up," near her home at Fourth and Lincoln. (Photo from Harrison Memorial Library History Department).

Photograph of Mary Austin House in Carmel on Lincoln north of Fourth from The Book News Monthly, April 1915 (Harrison Memorial Library History Department).

Photograph of Frank Powers and Jane Gallatin Powers from Carmel City Hall Records - History of Murphy-Powers-Comstock Barn/Studio, prepared by Kirstie Wilde, April 12, 1993 - photographs from Erin Lee Gafill Collection. 

Portion of Map of Carmel surveyed December 1906, filed at the request of F. H. Powers (Carmel Development Co.) August 12, 1907. From the Harrison Memorial Library History Department.  


  1. Lovely, and very cool. Joyfully ~ James

  2. I truly did thank you. The next best thing to being there. Been quite awhile since I was in the area. Until then mon ami. Ici tout est bon! James/


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