Deetjen's Big Sur Inn

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Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn (Big Sur, CA).jpg
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn is located in California
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn is located in the United States
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
Nearest cityBig Sur, California
Coordinates36°13′3.29″N 121°45′0.59″W / 36.2175806°N 121.7501639°W / 36.2175806; -121.7501639Coordinates: 36°13′3.29″N 121°45′0.59″W / 36.2175806°N 121.7501639°W / 36.2175806; -121.7501639
ArchitectHelmuth Deetjen
Architectural styleAmerican Craftsman, and Other.
NRHP reference #90001464[1]
Added to NRHPSeptember 13, 1990
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn, 2005

Deetjen's Big Sur Inn is one of the oldest hotels in Big Sur.[2]


In the late 1920s Helmuth Deetjen fled Norway. He arrived in California and soon married Helen Haight, a member of the politically-connected Haight family. Henry Huntly Haight was the 10th Governor of California, and many places in San Francisco were named after his family. The couple moved to Big Sur in the early 1930s; at first they lived in tents, but eventually they built a small house and a big barn.[citation needed]

The couple was quite hospitable and enjoyed sheltering and feeding travelers in the days before Highway 1 made travel easier along the Central Coast of California. Eventually, they settled on Helen's forty acre property in Castro Canyon, where they proceeded to build small cottages in the Norwegian style and a restaurant known for its excellent food. Over time, the Deetjens came to be known in the area as "Grandpa" and "Grandma".[3]

The hotel building has a number of historic features, including glass Helmuth made himself in King City and brought over the mountains to Big Sur by mule.[4] Helmuth died in 1972 and all of his holdings in the canyon were placed in a trust to ensure that they were not sold off piecemeal.[citation needed]

Present day[edit]

The inn is owned by the non-profit Deetjen's Big Sur Inn Preservation Foundation.[5] In 1990 the inn was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ Dicum, Gregory (2007-01-07). "Big Sur Without the Crowds". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  3. ^ Fish, Peter (January 1994). "Deetjen's Big Sur Inn. - Big Sur, California". Sunset. Retrieved 2007-08-02.
  4. ^ "The Story and the Legend". Deetjens Big Sur Inn. Archived from the original on 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  5. ^ The Big Sur Voice, 3 December 2005 Archived 29 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine (pdf)
  6. ^ "CALIFORNIA - Monterey County - Historic Districts". National Register of Historical Places. Retrieved 2007-08-05.
  • Molyneaux, David G. (1994-06-26). "Snuggling Up to Nature at Big Sur". Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio).

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