Jan 04 2010
The Road House was built in 1902 with a saloon on the first floor and on the second floor were beds for “extracurricular activities” as well as a massage parlor. Bootleggers buried their contraband liquor in the sand below the cliffs during the 1920s.
It was later converted into a grocery store equipped with a gas station, and the upstairs rooms served as a motel.
Then it became a loosely organized commune of students, surfers, and wanna-be film makers, tenants who tended to stay for years – sometimes decades.
The small cabins were rented out separately and the kitchen, bathrooms and toilets were all in the main house, just a few short steps across the gravel drive.
Many years before the Roadhouse was torn down, a sculptor moved in and built a beautiful iron piece that turned slowly of its own accord.
I was always especially fond of the flower and vegetable gardens that were planted everywhere and lovingly tended. This cabin, with the crooked tree, is where my friend Oren lived for years. Even after he started school at Berkeley, he kept this cabin for weekends.
A lot of people tried to save the Roadhouse from demolition. Hopes were high that it would become an historic building but it needed a lot of work and when the elderly woman who owned it passed it along to her realtor daughters, that was the fatal blow.
A 38,000 square foot lot on the cliff above the ocean, with an unobstructed view, is destined to become a condo community next door to the other condo community…just another pile of boxes crammed into the lot.
Whenever I visited my friends there the main house was always sparkling clean and dead quiet. In fact, I only saw one person in all the years that I trooped through the place.
I finally met the woman who lived on the top floor of what used to be the barn. She had a skylight and a completely open floor plan. She had been there for over twenty years. It shook and rattled in storm winds but that never bothered her.
More photos on Page 2
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