Our city and neighborhoods are as famous for their stunning natural beauty as they are for their real estate. We have a rich history of cottages and cabins that represent some of the most beautiful early Carmel homes. Here, we talk about four well-known, charming, and architecturally significant landmarks.

Whalers cabin

Whaler’s Cabin in Point Lobos was built in the 1850s. It would house Japanese and Chinese fishermen. In the mid-to-late 1800s, it belonged to the Carmel Bay Whaling Company, even the Japanese Whaling Company used this cabin for a couple of years to the turn of the century. It was a Carmel home until 1983 when the last resident moved out. Today it houses a museum that showcases the cultural and other history of Point Lobos. There used to be an abalone cannery in the area, as well as a granite quarry. Visitors to the site can enjoy all kinds of wildlife, including many species of birds. The museum opened in 1994. If you’d like more information on this famous and many other early area landmarks, visit the Point Lobos Foundation’s website.

The Carmel Heritage Society was named by the city of Carmel-by-the-Sea as the official custodian of the First Murphy House. At the young age of 17 years, Michael Murphy built his first cottage. This early Carmel home, and many others built by Murphy, would influence the personality of the Village of Carmel. This important piece of early architecture was rescued from demolition in 1990 by the First Murphy House Committee, moved to 6th and Lincoln – its present site – and completely restored. It is often featured on tours offered by Carmel Walks. Did you know you can rent this historic home for events or meetings? Pricing is great, and it holds up to 40 people. Find out more by visiting the Heritage Society’s website.

Cottage of sweets

Do you like sweets? The Cottage of Sweets, originally at Dolores and Ocean, started out when it was built in 1922 as a loom shop. A year later the new Golden Bough Playhouse, owned by Edward ‘Ted’ Kuster, thought this cottage would make a perfect ticket booth; so, he moved it to Ocean and Monte Verde. (The theatre has a fascinating and bizarre history, which includes it burning down twice … once in the 1930s, and another time in the 1940s.) Today, this charming building, an important piece of early Carmel history, sells sweets! To find out more about the history of this landmark, visit the website for the Cottage of Sweets.

Hansel Doll House

In 1925, Gretel joined Hansel as one of two beautiful fairy tale-like cottages that Hugh Comstock built for his wife Mayotta. Mayotta created and sold a line of rag dolls called ‘Otsy-Totsys’. When the first home, Hansel, ran out of room for her collection, Hugh built the second one. In his application to build Hansel, Hugh estimated a cost of $1,400! The architectural style of Hansel is the Tudor Storybook substyle; it would help define Carmel for decades. The door and window casings were hand carved. Hansel is 1 ½ stories, on a concrete foundation. The twin cottages are part of the Carmel House and Garden Tour. Find out about the tours by going to the Carmel Heritage Society’s website.

Photo credit: Whalers Cabin

Photo credit: Hansel Doll House

Photo credit: Cottage of Sweets