The Hearthstone

We camped in two different sites on three nights in the redwoods and did a little hiking and exploring in several groves. One of the nicest spots we came across was the California Federation of Women’s Clubs grove. We followed the narrow winding road into the grove and found the above pavilion looming up from among the redwood trees (click on all photos for larger views). My friend and I are both very interested in architecture, so of course the pavilion seemed like a gem in the forest. As I’m quite familiar with a number of Julia Morgan’s buildings, I soon suspected this might be one of her designs, although I was quite unaware of the history. That she was the architect, was soon confirmed after checking a nearby kiosk (see below)

Each of the four sides of The Hearthstone building has a hearth as well as a large circular inscription – each of these different. The four inscriptions read:

* For lo in the forest comes contentment peace and the sweet companionship of nature.

* Oldest of living things what wisdom forests teach stirring men’s heart to thought deeper than speech.

* Would that we were great as these and men were brotherly as trees.

* Hearthstone of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs

The Hearthstone is surrounded by massive trees bordering a branch of the Eel River. Two beautiful tables constructed of slabs of redwood are situated between the pavilion and the river. A hiking trail leads off to cross the river and into another section of the redwood groves. I made this little movie clip while turning slowly about in the grove. It’s not the greatest, but gives some idea of the atmosphere at this location.

On one of the older redwood tables near the pavilion, I noticed this little sprig of roses. Somehow, they seemed to fit right in — perhaps a tribute to the designer of the beautiful hearthstone building in the woods.

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5 Responses to “The Hearthstone”

  1. robin andrea Says:

    It’s so beautiful there, bev. The movie clip does capture the essence of the redwood forest. The tops of the trees are out of sight, and the girth of that last tree takes up the whole shot. Someday you will have to go to the Sierra Mountains and hike to see the giant redwoods of Mariposa Grove south of Yosemite.

  2. Mark P Says:

    I would like something like that in my backyard. Trees and shelter, although the scale of either would be overwhelming.

    The redwoods are otherworldly. I find it hard to understand how anyone could cut them down.

  3. Dave Says:

    I remember when I was out there I felt like those trees had a presence all their own. I agree – I don’t know how someone could or would want to cut a redwood down, but I’m guessing 100-150 years back people thought there was no end to these resources, and it was full speed ahead. Didn’t take mankind too long did it?

    Anyway, I hope you-all are having a GREAT time! Enjoy!

  4. Jennifer Says:

    I have really been enjoying your posts. This one in particular, because of the redwoods. A friend just sent me The Wild Trees for my birthday. Only just cracked the cover… afraid to start as he said he couldn’t put it down and I just don’t have time to drop everything right now… maybe next week.

  5. Scott Bradstreet Says:


    I’ve looked everywhere for a picture of Hearthstone. I am writing a book about architectural style and would really like to include your photo in my book with full credit. May I do so?

    Scott Bradstreet