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The Fairy Tale Cottages of Carmel

Ober Fairy Tale Cottage Carmel

The fairy tale whimsy found in your own backyard can be surprising. I've lived in Northern California most of my life but somehow managed to avoid exploring Carmel-By-The-Sea, which turns 100-years-old this year. It's chock-a-block with fairy tale cottages, built in the 1920s mostly by Hugh Comstock.

No architect, Hugh was lured to Carmel by his love for a dollmaker. Her work became so sought after by collectors, that she asked her husband to build a sort of showroom for them. No architect, Hugh turned to the work of fairy tale artist, Arthur Rackman, for inspiration.

He didn't bother using a level, giving everything a slightly skewed, not-quite-of-this world look. His first cottage was such a success, that fellow residents came clamoring for him to design more.

Fairy Tale Cottages of Carmel

The Pink Cottage (so-named for obvious reasons), was built by Hugh Comstock in 1929. One can only guess (or Zillow) what these homes are worth today. But they were cheap when built. Comstock bought the properties for around $100 and used low-cost materials for his homes.

Fairy Tale Cottages of Carmel

The Doll House Cottage wasn't used for his wife's dolls, as far as I can tell. But it's typical of the whimsical, fairy tale names Comstock gave his creations. This one was built in 1928).

Fairy Tale Cottages of Carmel

Another delightfully named home, above is the Fables Cottage, built 1928.

Fairy Tale Cottages of Carmel

Above, the Tuck Box is the only commercial "cottage" built by Hugh Comstock. Or is it...?

Fairy Tale Cottages of Carmel

Because standing beside and slightly behind the Tuck Box is "A Great Place." The Chamber of Commerce brochure says it's a Comstock creation, but apparently this is in dispute. But it's a spa now that specializes in chocolate treatments, so... who cares? They had me at chocolate massages.

About the Author

Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending steampunk suspense, urban fantasy, and mystery, mixing her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.

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