Labor of Love -The Tor House in Carmel Built by Robinson Jeffers for his Wife Una

This is a story about lasting love and an extremely charming house, the Tor House at Carmel Point in California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Jeffers Tor house in Carmel
Tor House was built by Poet Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962) for his wife Una (1884 - 1950) and two twin sons in 1918. Jeffers learned the art of stone masonry from the builder he hired, laying many rocks in place with his own hands.

Robinson Jeffers house
After completion of Tor House, Jeffers then continued his stonework. Mornings he wrote poems, and afternoons he hauled granite boulders up from the beach, erecting over the years a garage, a dining room, and Hawk Tower, a private retreat for his wife.

tor house tour

Tor stone house
The house was intentionally built small, set low to the ground to withstand the great storms of winter.

tor house interior
For some this might be claustrophobic, I think is super cozy! Oil lamps and candles were the only means of illumination until electricity was installed in 1949. And they relied for decades on driftwood for heating. I'm trying to imagine the get-togethers in the house with guests such as Ansel Adams and Charlie Chaplin! Even though blessed with fame, the Jeffers were living a modest lifestyle. You can view many more interior pictures in Sandra Gray's Flickr Album.

Carmel garden by the sea
The Garden Gate.

historic Tor house
Tor House and Hawk Tower have been preserved as they where when Robinson and Una lived there and can be toured every Friday and Saturday.

Robinson Jeffers in Tor house
Robinson Jeffers sitting in Tor House in 1948.

Tor house Carmel
Photo by Michael Hartley.

Robinson and Una Jeffers in their garden
I can't say I connect with Jeffers Poetry much, but the following phrases from the poem "For Una" I like, and they nicely complement this Photo taken in 1945, with the two standing in their garden.

"While the stars go over the sleepless ocean,
And sometime after midnight I’ll pluck you a wreath
Of chosen ones; we’ll talk about love and death,
Rock-solid themes, old and deep as the sea."

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