Frank Norris Cabin

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Frank Norris Cabin
Frank Norris Memorial, Redwood Retreat Road, Gilroy vicinity (Santa Clara County, California).jpg
Frank Norris Memorial
Frank Norris Cabin is located in California
Frank Norris Cabin
Frank Norris Cabin is located in the US
Frank Norris Cabin
Nearest city 7155 L Redwood Retreat Road, Gilroy, California
Coordinates 37°2′11″N 121°42′45″W / 37.03639°N 121.71250°W / 37.03639; -121.71250Coordinates: 37°2′11″N 121°42′45″W / 37.03639°N 121.71250°W / 37.03639; -121.71250
Built 1902 (1902)
Architectural style Log cabin
NRHP reference # 66000235
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966[1]
Designated NHL December 29, 1962[2]

The Frank Norris Cabin, also known as Redwood Retreat, was a retreat of the writer Frank Norris in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Gilroy, California. A log cabin, it was only briefly owned by author Frank Norris before his untimely death in October 1902. A circular stone bench, the Frank Norris Memorial, was erected nearby by Fanny Stevenson, a close friend. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962 for its association with Norris, whose novels McTeague and The Octopus: A Story of California are major American literary works of the turn of the 20th century.[2][3]


The Frank Norris Cabin is located on a remote parcel of private land in the Santa Cruz Mountains, northwest of Gilroy, accessed via the Redwood Retreat Road and a steep 1 mile (1.6 km) hiking trail on that property. It is a single-story log structure with two chambers, and a stone porch. Located a short distance from the cabin is a semicircular stone bench,[3] in which is mounted a plaque bearing the inscription "FRANK NORRIS, 1870 – 1902. Simpleness and gentleness and honor and clean mirth."[4]

Frank Norris purchased 10 acres (4.0 ha) from the owner of the nearby Redwood Retreat Hotel in the summer of 1902, at which time the cabin was already on the property. He had been introduced to the area by Fanny Stevenson, who owned a larger tract immediately adjacent. Norris and his wife Jeannette had spent time on the Stevenson property in 1899, and had became so enamored of the place that he wanted to stay nearby. He named the property "Quien Sabe" after a retreat so named in The Octopus. Norris's usage of the property is unclear: he made arrangements to enlarge the cabin, which had only one room when he bought it, but died quite suddenly (of complications from a burst appendix) in October 1902.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Frank Norris Cabin". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-11-18. 
  3. ^ a b Charles W. Snell and Marilynn Larew (n.d.). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Frank Norris Cabin / Redwood Retreat" (pdf). National Park Service. 
  4. ^ "As Norris Knew, Corruption an Unfortunate Byproduct of Business". Gilroy Dispatch. May 11, 2006. Retrieved 2018-01-30. 
  5. ^ McElrath, Joseph; Crissler, Jesse (2006). Frank Norris: A Life. University of Illinois Press. pp. 423–429. ISBN 9780252030161. 

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