Trip Planning Party Stories in the 1930s William Hearst - Publisher Julia Morgan - Architect Marion Davies - Movie Star Hearst Castle Photos



Trip Planning

Virginia and I had talked about doing a weekend trip to Monterey and on to tour one of the most famous private home in California, Hearst Castle.

Highway 101 to Cambria

If one takes Highway 101 from San Francisco to Cambria California, it is 241 miles and takes about 4.5 hours to drive there. You can also go over to I-5 which may not be as crowded but it takes a little longer, 5.5 hours.

Caltrain to Paso Robles

I also checked Caltrain from the City to Paso Robles. The train takes about 8 hours and prices vary from $49 to $75. You then can rent a car or will need to get to a hotel in Cambria by bus or taxi.

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark and California Historical Landmark mansion located on the Central Coast of California, United States. It was designed by architect Julia Morgan, between 1919 and 1947, as a residence for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951. In 1954 it became a California State Park. The site was opened to visitors in 1958. Since that time it has been operated as the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument where the estate, and its considerable collection of art and antiques, is open for public tours. Despite its location far from any urban center, the site attracts "millions of travelers each year".

Hearst formally named the estate "La Cuesta Encantada" ("The Enchanted Hill"), but usually called it "the ranch". Hearst Castle and grounds are also sometimes referred to as "San Simeon" without distinguishing between the Hearst property and the adjacent unincorporated area of the same name.

Location on the Coast of California

Hearst Castle is located near the unincorporated community of San Simeon, California, approximately 250 miles (400 km) from both Los Angeles and San Francisco, and 43 miles (69 km) from San Luis Obispo at the northern end of San Luis Obispo County. The estate itself is five miles (eight kilometers) inland atop a hill of the Santa Lucia Range at an altitude of 1,600 feet (490 m). The region is sparsely populated because the Santa Lucia Range abuts the Pacific Ocean, which provides dramatic seaside vistas but few opportunities for development and hampered transportation. The surrounding countryside visible from the mansion remains largely undeveloped. Its entrance is approximately five miles north of Hearst San Simeon State Park.

Hearst Castle was built on Rancho Piedra Blanca that William Randolph Hearst's father, George Hearst, originally purchased in 1865. The younger Hearst grew fond of this site over many childhood family camping trips. He inherited the ranch, which had grown to 250,000 acres (1,012 km2) and 14 miles (23 km) of coastline, from his mother Phoebe Hearst in 1919. Although the large ranch already had a Victorian mansion, the location selected for Hearst Castle was undeveloped, atop a steep hill whose ascent was a dirt path accessible only by foot or on horseback over 5 miles (8 km) of cutbacks.

Chuck & Virginia in Ireland - 2014  Chuck & Virginia in Jamaica - 2015  Chuck & Virginia in Indonesia - 2017 Chuck & Virginia in Singapore - 2017 Chuck & Virginia in Hearst Castle - date

Ireland in 2014
Jamaica in 2015
Indonesia in 2017
Singapore in 2017
Hearst Castle in date

This is our first trip together, touring Ireland in 2014.
This is our second trip celebrating my 75th birthday in Jamaica in 2015.
This is our third trip together celebrating my 77th birthday in Indonesia in 2017.
On our fourth trip we toured Singapore in 2017.
And on our fifth trip together we did the tour of the Hearst Castle in date.


People I met that attended parties at the Hearst Castle in the 1930s

I heard this story about Hearst Castle in the 1970s when I used to go to a men's club once or twice a week in Berkeley across the bay. There were many interesting people in the club and there I met two men who were twins in their 80s. They said they worked for years in Hollywood, in silent movies and then talkies. I believe they said they were 'artistic' and did set designs and so on. They said they used to get invited to the Hearst Castle once in a while during the 1930s. They said William Hearst and his companion Marion Davies had huge parties over the weekends.

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History of William Hearst & Castle

William Randolph Hearst, the man who conceived Hearst Castle, was a media genius whose influence extended to publishing, politics, Hollywood, the art world and everyday American life. His power and vision allowed him to pursue one of the most ambitious architectural endeavors in American history, the result of which can be seen in magnificent grounds and structures of Hearst Castle.

Mr. Hearst was born on April 29, 1863, in San Francisco, California, as the only child of George and Phoebe Hearst. His father, a wealthy man as a result of relentless work and creativity in his various mining interests, allowed young William the opportunity to see and experience the world as few do.

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Julia Morgan ~ 1872 - 1957 - Architect for the Castle

Julia Morgan was born in San Francisco on January 20, 1872 and grew up in nearby Oakland. She was the second child of Charles Bill and Eliza Parmelee Morgan.

Miss Morgan graduated with a degree in civil engineering from University of California at Berkeley. During her time at Berkeley, Morgan developed a keen interest in architecture, which is thought to have been fostered by her mother’s cousin, Pierre Le Brun, who designed the Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower in New York City. At Berkeley one of her instructors, Bernard Maybeck, encouraged her to pursue her architectural studies in Paris at Ecole des Beaux-Arts.

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Marion Davies - Movie Star - William Hearst Companion

Marion Cecilia Davies (January 3, 1897 – September 22, 1961) was an American film actress, producer, screenwriter, and philanthropist.

Davies was already building a solid reputation as a film comedian when newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, with whom she had begun a romantic relationship, took over management of her career. Hearst financed Davies' pictures, promoted her heavily through his newspapers and Hearst Newsreels, and pressured studios to cast her in historical dramas for which she was ill-suited. For this reason, Davies is better remembered today as Hearst's mistress and the hostess of many lavish events for the Hollywood elite. In particular, her name is linked with the 1924 scandal aboard Hearst's yacht when one of his guests, film producer Thomas Ince, died.

In the film Citizen Kane (1941), the title character's second wife—an untalented singer whom he tries to promote—was widely assumed to be based on Davies. But many commentators, including Citizen Kane writer/director Orson Welles himself, have defended Davies' record as a gifted actress, to whom Hearst's patronage did more harm than good. She retired from the screen in 1937, choosing to devote herself to Hearst and charitable work.

In Hearst's declining years, Davies provided financial as well as emotional support until his death in 1951. She married for the first time eleven weeks after his death, a marriage which lasted until Davies died of stomach cancer in 1961 at the age of 64.

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  Date

    Driving from San Francisco to San Simeon and a Visit to Hearst Castle
Leaveing San Francisco to Hearst Castle

Over Night Stop in xxxxxx


San Francisco View

Early Morning over San Francisco as I leave my apartment!


  Date

    First Days on the Ship

Sailing the Rhine

Get to know the layout of the ship and features.

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  Charles Walter Buntjer


San Francisco California
Charles Walter Buntjer Created on: 2016.06.29  


Updated on:  2017.03.17