|— Unincorporated community —|
|County||San Luis Obispo|
|• Total||0.2 sq mi (0.5 km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||PDT (UTC-7)|
|GNIS feature ID||1660712|
Halcyon, California is an unincorporated community of approximately 125 acres (0.5 km²) in San Luis Obispo County, California, located just beyond the southern border of the city of Arroyo Grande. It was founded in 1898 as a Theosophist intentional community and is the home and headquarters of a religious organization, The Temple of the People (not to be confused with Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple).
The ZIP Code is 93420. The community is inside area code 805.
The Temple of the People was founded in Syracuse, New York in 1898 by William Dower and Francia LaDue, members of the Esoteric Section of the Theosophical Society. It was moved to Halcyon in 1903. Dower, who was a medical doctor, and LaDue founded the Halcyon Hotel and Sanatorium, where all manner of addiction and nervous ailments as well as tuberculosis were treated and which remained open until 1949. Other members of the Temple followed Dower and LaDue to Halcyon from Syracuse, and made their living through farming, poultry, and handicrafts.
Land continued to be acquired by the Temple, whose holdings were at one time much more extensive than present-day Halcyon. A town plan was laid out by the Temple Home Association, which subdivided a portion and sold or leased out home sites. A print shop was established to produce a monthly magazine (which is still published), the Artisan, as well as other Theosophical literature. A general store and post office opened in 1908.
LaDue, who took the moniker "Blue Star", led the Temple as its first Guardian in Chief until her death in 1922. Just afterward, the Blue Star Memorial Temple building, named in her honor and designed by architect Theodore Eisen of Los Angeles, was constructed in 1923. Dower served as the second Guardian until his death in 1937. Pearl Dower served as the third Guardian, during whose tenure the William Quan Judge Library was established, until her death in 1968. Harold Forgostein served as the fourth Guardian until his death in 1990. Eleanor Shumway has served as the fifth Guardian since that time.
Notable persons involved with Halcyon and the Temple include composer and pianist Henry Cowell (see also The Tides of Manaunaun), Irish poet and fiction writer Ella Young, a master painter David Mallory, and mystic poet and community leader John Varian (1863-1931); Varian's sons Russell (1898-1959) and Sigurd (1901-1961), who spent part of their childhood in Halcyon, invented the klystron, an important microwave amplifier tube, and founded the Varian electronics empire. Sigurd Varian also was a founding member of the Ladera cooperative community in northern California. Sheila Varian has contributed to the equine world notably. Her Varian Arabians are treasured both for their beauty and temperament worldwide. She is an icon in the equine community, her horses known and bred by those fortunate enough to care for them.
Cethil Mallory, a building contractor, built many of the single-family homes in Halcyon with the help of his three sons, John Mallory, David Mallory, and Roland Mallory. Additionally, they rebuilt the Halcyon General Store and post office, a large cabinet shop (now gone), and they built coffins and buried the deceased in the Halcyon Cemetery as volunteers. During World War II the United States imprisoned all Japanese Americans in internment camps. A farm on Halcyon Road is owned by a Japanese family, and while they were held in an internment camp the Mallory family maintained their farm as volunteers. Additionally, Cethil Mallory played the piano for the Temple Sunday service for over fifty years, and his daughter, Cecelia Frances Page (née Mallory), continued the tradition after his death. Mallory's wife, Patricia Louise Mallory, had attended law school before they met, and after raising their five children together she worked for a judge at the county courthouse for many years. She managed all legal affairs for decades. The Mallory family owned many of the homes that they built and donated them to the Temple upon Cethil's death in 1981 for the purpose of providing affordable housing for local residents. One such house is called "The Temple House" which has provided emergency shelter and long term stability for local residents for decades. Cecelia Frances Page (née Mallory) donated a fortune to certain Halcyon residents and to the town and Temple employees upon her death in 2011.
Halcyon today contains fifty-two single-family homes, of which thirty are owned by the Temple, as well as several small buildings used by the Temple, and just over one hundred residents. Almost all residents earn their living outside the community.
The Temple continues to function today as a small but international non-denominational religious society with headquarters at Halcyon. Weekly services at Halcyon are held on Sundays in the Blue Star Memorial Temple building, as well as a fifteen-minute healing service held there every day at noon.
Chronological overview 
Guardian in Chief
- 1898-1922 = Francia A. La Due (1849-1922)
- 1922-1937 = William H. Dower (1866-1937)
- 1937-1968 = Pearl F. Dower
- 1968-1990 = Harold E. Forgostein
- 1990 = Eleanor L. Shumway
- Hine, Robert V. (1953). California's Utopian Colonies. San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library. pp. 54–57.