Jack London (1876-1916) was one of the foremost adventure writers of his time. His best known books are Call of the Wild and White Fang. He traveled through the US to the Wild West and north to the Yukon, where thousands of people of his generation, mostly men, journeyed through treacherous conditions in the hope of finding gold. Most did the long trek as a last resort to help feed their families, with the hope that a find of gold would make them instantly rich. The vast majority were not successful and, unfortunately, many died before they could return home to their families.
Jack London Historical Park
Jack London Historical Park in Glen Ellen, California, offers 1,400 acres of historical buildings, hiking trails, a museum, horseback riding, and more! Located about a 90-minute drive north of San Francisco, you can easily spend at least a half-day enjoying all that it offers. Read an article about it here: latimes.com/travel. Also check out this article about how park rangers rescued London’s memorabilia from the Northern California fire of October 2017: latimes.com/local/california.
Jack London named the vast property “Beauty Ranch” and wrote many of his later stories in “The Cottage” there. It is now open to visitors who can tour it and other buildings with the assistance of knowledgeable docents. The park is the only literary landmark listed on this website that includes a “piggery,” designed for prize-breeding hogs. Also be sure to see the author’s typewriter. The grave sites of Jack London and his wife are also on the property.
The Jack London Historical Park also offers visitors a memorabilia shop, which can be visited online before or after your trip.
Fans of the author may also like seeing his cabin at Jack London Square in Oakland, California. Read about it here: https://authoradventures.org/trails/by-state/california/london-jack
Call of the Wild
Jack London’s Call of the Wild, one of his best-known works, is available for free online, along with many other books by the author at https://www.gutenberg.org. Several feature films have been inspired by the book, most recently the feature family film Call of the Wild starring Harrison Ford that was theatrically released in 2020.
On the Path
This is the eighth stop on our Northern California Author Adventures Trail.