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Mission Trail Nature Preserve – Flanders Mansion Walk – Part II

Mission Trail Nature Preserve
Flanders Mansion Walk
Part Two
Before proceeding to the second half of our
tour here is a peak at some backgound.

Rancho Cañada de la Segunda

In the 1830’s under Mexican rule, a number of ranchos were created around Carmel Mission. One of those ranchos was Cañada de la Segunda granted to Lazaro Soto in 1839 (yellow highlight).
His land encompassed 4,367 acres northeast of the mission. In 1851, Soto sold the rancho to Andrew Randall for $500. Randall got himself a little bit behind with some of his creditors and was murdered in a San Francisco hotel in 1856. Mr. Randall’s land was subsequently aquired by his attorney, Fletcher M. Haight, in 1859. 
Mr. Haight needed money and took out a loan for $4,000 with Lloyd Tevis in 1862. Four years later, Mr. Tevis bought the land from Mr. Haight for (an additional) $11,950.
In 1869 Faxon Dean Atherton (namesake of Atherton California) purchased the land. At his death in 1877 title transfered to his wife, Dominga Doni de Atherton who in 1888 hired William Hatton to manage her holdings. By 1892 the enterprising Hatton had purchased the land from Dominga.  The picture above shows Hatton Fields in 1921, what would become the Flanders Mansion backyard. 
Dr. Daniel T. MacDougal

Dr. MacDougal began his career working at The New York Botanical Garden in 1899 he was recognized as the leading American authority on d

esert ecology and one of the first botanists to research chlorophyll. In 1906 he became the Director of Botanical Research at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, D.C.  By 1909, he had established a coastal botanical lab for the Carnegie Institue in Carmel, California and became known as an expert on the Monterey pine. The coastal laboratory was established at Junipero and Twelfth and remained in operation until the early 1940’s. During Dr. MacDougal’s tenure at the Carnegie Institute in Carmel, he purchased 80 acres of  land adjacent to Mr. Hatton’s property.

Paul and Grace Flanders
80 Acres from MacDougal

Paul and Grace Flanders who married in 1920 came to Carmel in 1922 to build a home and start a business in real estate development. They initially purchased 80 acres of land from Grace’s friend Dr. MacDougal of the Carnegie Institute, and proceeded to build their home on a portion of this property immediately adjacent to Hatton’s land.

The Flander’s were one of the first Carmelites to hire an outside professional architect to design their residence, which they named “Outlands,” due to its secluded location high on a raised hill overlooking the Carmel Mission, Point Lobos and the sea beyond.

Henry Higby Gutterson the supervising architect for the first subdivision in northern California, the St. Francis Woods development in San Francisco, was hired to build “Outlands.” Trained at the University of California, Berkeley and at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, Gutterson was the perfect designer for “Outlands” which Flanders planned on using as a model home for future residences of a Carmel subdivision he would develop. 

Paul Flanders President
Carmel Land Company
233 Acres from Hatton

In 1925, Paul Flanders, president of The Carmel Land Company purchased 233 acres of land from the Hatton Estate for $100,000.  On June 27th of the same year, the Pine Cone reported, “One of the largest and most important realty deals ever consummated in this vicinity took place last week when the probate court at Salinas confirmed the sale of 233 acres of land belonging to the Hatton estate. The purchasers of this splendid tract of land east of the Carmel city limits is a group of capitalists headed by Paul Flanders, who recently completed a beautiful residence in the vicinity of the property….The land involved in the deal is bounded at its northern point by Second Avenue in Carmel; on the west by the city limits; on the south by the county road that runs in front of the Carmel Mission and on the east by the same road…Henry H. Gutterson…has been retained to act as supervising architect in the laying out of the homesites.” 
Flanders Mansion
25800 Hatton Road

Flanders Mansion lies at the end of a long driveway off Hatton road.  In an idyllic park-like setting it is entirely surrounded by the upper region of the Mission Trail Nature Peserve. 
No physical boundaries separate the Flanders Mansion property from Mission Trail Nature Preserve. The grounds of the mansion property are directly accessible from the Serra or Flanders Trail which exit the preserve at the fire access road just north of the back entrance to the home.  
Melanie Billig, President of Flanders Foundation joined us in the circle driveway of the mansion for the second portion of our tour.  She would enlighten us with more fascinating facts about the Flanders family and their impressive historical home “Outlands in the 80 Acres,” one of only two properties in Carmel-by-the-Sea listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Outlands in the 80 Acres

Outlands, or Flanders Mansion as it is commonly called, is a Tudor Revival English cottage of 8,000 square feet, 5,559 of which are developed livable space, seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, a basement and carriage house.

When Paul and Grace built Outlands, the location was exactly as its name suggests, outside, far from the main living area of town.  Not so by today’s standards, but in 1925 it would take the Carmel Fire Department (once notified which was another matter all together) quite some time to get their Luverne engine to Outlands.

The Flanders’ had previously been victims of a house fire. The home they rented in Pebble Beach while bulding Outlands was completely destroyed by a fire in February of 1925.  This may have been one of the reasons that Thermotite, manufactured by the Carmel Thermotite Company was used in  building this home.

According to “Ask Otey – He Knows,” Pine Cone January 1925, “Carmel Thermotite is fireproof, waterproof and practically everlasting.” 

In a form to the United States Department of the Interior submitted in 1989 for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, Outlands was described as an “impressive example of the mature work of noted San Francisco architect Henry Higby Gutterson.  Gutterson employed a cavity-walled building sytstem of precast interlocking concrete blocks locally produced…The constuction of this cavity wall system is unique to its California location. The residence and its park-like setting retain to a remarkable extent their integrity as designed by architect Gutterson…The Paul Flanders Mansion, Outlands, is significant under National Register Eligibility Criteria C as the work of a prominent architect employing an innovative method of constuction…currently the only known example of Gutterson’s work in the region…”Outlands” retains to a remarkable degree both its context and integrity as originally constructed in 1924-25.”

This two story residence constructed of light grey Thermotite cement blocks rests solidly on a full concrete foundation with a partial basement. Melanie points out, “When you walk around the house you will see next to no cracks and it has gone through many earthquakes.  This thing is practically fireproof and seismic proof.  So when you read something that says the house if falling down, it isn’t.  It is in very good conditon for not having any TLC since the city bought it in 1972.”

The roof is steeply pitched with intersecting gables capped with Gladding McBean & Company’s “Berkeley” trough ceramic tiles fired in a russet color and laid irregularly. Flashing, still beautiful today, is copper and lead.

There are two principal entries.  One is located facing the circular driveway. 

The second, which is actually the front entrance (shown above), is located on the other side of the house facing what is now the edge of a Monterey Pine forest. “When the Flanders first bought this property the trees were about two feet tall,” Melanie explains, “they had an incredible view.” 

The Family
Paul and Grace were well loved in the Carmel community.  They entertained regularly, and were active in local arts and music.  They also enjoyed staging plays on their outdoor wooden “deck” overlooking the canyon, Mission, and sea beyond.

Paul and Grace Flanders had one child together, Barry, who died at 11 years of age in 1933 “after waging an heroic battle to recover from an illness that began five weeks earlier,” the Pine Cone reported March 31, 1933. His foot prints and initials are impressed on the top of the cement steps leading to the basement.  

 Barry’s room lies behind the three windows
covered in vines on the second floor. 

Paul Flanders was a retired Navy officer.  Melanie explained, “during the First World War he was in charge of submaries in the North Atlantic.  After World War II broke out he reenlisted in the Navy and was sent to oversee the possibility of Japanese submarines off the west coast.  He was away from the mansion a lot during those years,  back and forth to San Francisco and Washington DC.  In 1944 he was in DC and died of a heart attack.  He never came back to the mansion.  Grace lived here by herself, much of the time not very well, until her death in 1967.”

The City Buys Flanders
After the death of Grace Flanders in 1967, her beneficiaries developed a plan to subdivide the land and build 64 residential units. This plan was refused by the Carmel City Planning Commission. 

In 1972, the Flanders heirs agreed to sell the property, 14.9 acres to the City of Carmel for $275,000. This along with the 17.5 acre $125,000 Doolittle property the City had also purchased would become the Mission Trail Nature Preserve.

On May 20, 1973 more than 700 people toured the Flanders Mansion, as the City of Carmel held an open house in order to generate public interest and input on use for the mansion. 
Since 1973 it has been used as a residence for the city administrator, home of the Carmel Art Institute, and in October 1994, the Alliance on Aging hosted a major fundraisor in the mansion in the form of a designers showcase where interior design professionals from Monterey Country transformed the rooms of the mansion into a European country house.
What is inside the Mansion?
No one is allowed inside anymore so all one can do is peak through the windows and press their camera lens up against the glass.
Built at a cost of $17,500 in 1925,
the main living room features solid teak floors which still shine.
Multi paneled half circle carved walnut double doors
lead to the dining room with a tile floor and
rectangle wood inlay where the table would have been placed.
The banister leading to the second floor is teak.  
The bright yellow study can be viewed through the side window.
Around the fireplace, high on the walls, border and ceiling, a mural has been painted depicting slightly risque scenes from what appears to be life in Carmel and Monterey. 
 One of the five bathroom is visible off the study.

The pantry off the kitchen has a  pink and green flower pattern stenciled on the built-in cupboards, possibly a remnant left over from the Designers Showcase in 1994.


Built-in’s were popular – here you can see the shoe holder on the back of the door to the closet and a peak of the chest of drawers inside the closet of one of the seven bedrooms.  

The Home and Garden section of The Sunday Herald,
October 9, 1994  featured some pictures from the
 Designers Showcase and a few before pictures.
The kitchen before
The kitchen after designer Diane Kremer updated the floors and added hand-waxed pine cabinets custom made by her own “Chelsea” design. In fact you will see a much better picture of her kitchen design on her home page.
The kitchen today, my pictures taken from outside.
The utility room before
The utility room after designer Gayle Gibson
painted the walls with a faux finish
and added a counter for the sink.
Today this room can only be viewed
(window on the far right)
from the outside
showing a different perspective.
  But the faux finish remains. 
The Heavenly View
The view from the grounds of the mansion has changed over the years, but what one sees when they walk through the juniper hedge….
…to a field overlooking where Paul Flanders
kept his horses and Mr. Hatton his cows…
 is still quite breathtaking,
though the trees have grown a bit,
The view heavenly. 
One of Carmel’s Best Kept Secrets
In the Footsteps of the Padres
What a gift the City of Carmel has been given with the purchase of this unspoiled Mission Trail Nature Preserve and National Historic Home Flanders Mansion.  It is my prayer that this can be preserved in its entirety, kept by the City of Carmel and used by and for the good of our community.  For  more information contact Flanders Foundation.

Mission Trail Nature Preserve
Flanders Mansion Walk – Part I

Map of Ranchos – Jack H. Moffett from Monterey County The Dramatic Story of Its Past by Augusta Fink
Hattons Fields 1921 – Land that Paul Flanders Purchased in 1925 –  Picture credit Pat Hathaway Collection
Map from article – City Buys Flanders Estate Pine Cone August 24, 1972
Pictures from Pine Cone October 9, 1994

Flanders Mansion, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, Mission Trail Nature Preserve, Walking Tour Carmel

Mission Trail Nature Preserve – Flanders Mansion Walk – Part I

Mission Trail Nature Preserve
 Flanders Mansion Walk – Part I
One of Carmel’s Best Kept Secrets
On a late summer Saturday morning in September I joined a group at the entrance to Mission Trail Nature Preserve across from Carmel Mission for a “Nature and Historical Walk” led by Melanie Billig, President of the FlandersFoundation. Melanie has been graciously conducting these free walks during the spring and summer months for over 10 years.
Footsteps of the Padres
 The Governor took the road to Monterey, going through a dense forest of pine where were placed many great crosses, significant of Christ’s suffering.  But they had not gone far before a band of choristers appeared, all wearing newly washed robes, attended by many young Indians in the dress of acolytes.  They were closely followed by the padres marching in two wings.”  (Californian Trails, Intimate Guide to the Old Missions,
Towbridge Hall, page 230)

A year and a month after the founding of the Royal Presidio Chapel at Monterey in June 1771, Father Serra moved his church south six miles over a forested hill covered with oak, cypress, and pine to a marshy fertile area midway between the sea and the mouth of Carmel River.  For the next 50 years or so the Padres would tread a well-worn trail with their sandals, back and forth between Carmel Mission and the Royal Presidio Chapel in Monterey in order to conduct Mass, deliver or receive supplies.  

The area we would walk today in Mission Trail Nature Preserve is the only remaining part of the original trail traversed by the Padres that is not paved over by highway.  We were truly embarking on a “nature and historical walk.”

Mission Trail Nature Preserve

Mission Trail Nature Preserve was designated as a nature preserve, open space, and city park in 1972. There are five park entrances: Rio Road (where we now stood), 11th and Torres, Crespi Avenue and Mountain View Avenue, Martin Road, and 25800 Hatton Road, the location of Flanders Mansion and the Lester Rowntree Native Plant Garden.

This park encompasses 33 acres of mostly undeveloped land perfect for biking, dog walking, running, sitting, picnicking, bird watching, native plant discovering, or simple contemplation. 

It is an all around peaceful, unspoiled area with five trails that meander through a forested canyon filled with majestic oaks, pines, willows, and redwoods. The smell of eucalyptus and wood chips permeate the fresh air, and the sound of songbirds fill the space between the branches overhead. This park is a true gift to the residents and visitors of Carmel.

We proceed to follow the wide Junipero Serra Trail in the footsteps of the Padres.As we walk Melanie explains the history of Mission Trail Nature Reserve .

In 1971, the City of Carmel purchased 17.5 acres from the Doolittle Family for $125,000.  The following year the City of Carmel purchased 14.9 acres (including the manion) from the Flanders Estate for $275,000.  These two parcels would become Carmel’s largest park and open space, Mission Trail Nature Preserve.

The lower region of the park is characterized by a riparian habitat or marsh-like environment created in part by the drainage areas of Carmel that converge upon the park. 
This habitat will dictate which plants grow in this area.  In the lower park you will see dense areas of sycamores, willows and blackberries which provide cover for wildlife corridors. 
Many wild animals such as the mountain lion, bobcat, fox, deer, and opossum live hidden amongst the overgrowth of this riparian habitat.  They travel freely undisturbed between Carmel River, through the creeks and gullies of Mission Trail Nature Reserve on to Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove and beyond.  “You will rarely ever see them,” Melanie assures us, “but there are there.”
As we move along Serra Trail the lower habitat noticeably changes as redwoods planted by Mr. Doolittle tower above us cutting off the sunlight.  We have entered the upper region with an entirely different habitat filled with redwoods, pines and oaks.

Many of the trees and ground are overrun
with invasive Cape and English Ivy.
It may look beautiful but not really good for the trees.  

The idea of bringing in goats to clear out the overgrowth along the ground has been raised. Apparently they even eat the poison oak which is rampant off the trail. Leaves of three leave them be….. 

In a densely forested  area we come upon a stately mature oak tree with numerous limbs reaching out from its large split trunk.  There is no plaque, and nothing to call attention to the site, but Melanie explains that this tree was the location of the 13th Station of the Cross (Our Lord is taken down from the Cross).  

As the padres walked between the Presidio Chapel in Monterey and the Carmel Mission, they would pray the Way of the Cross a devotion depicting the scenes of Christ’s Passion. Towbridge Hall makes reference to this in his book, Californian Trails, Intimate Guide to the Old Mission when he writes, “…going through a dense forest of pine where placed many great crosses, significant of Christ’s suffering…” 
I make note to look further into this. Is it possible that the other stations still exist unceremoniously unadorned and forgotten somewhere along the road to the Presidio Chapel in Monterey?  The tune of the Stabat Mater fills my mind as I imagine the padres slowely and prayfully singing between stations…
At the cross her station keeping
Stood the mournful Mother weeping
Close to Jesus to the last…
We continue along the Serra trail spying houses camouflaged by the overgrowth.  When you see the red barn house on your left with white shutters adorned with heart cut outs, look right and you will find the path splits in two.  Take the higher road to Flanders Mansion.
We will meet you there…..
Mission Trail Nature Preserve
Flanders Mansion Walk Part Two