Joaquin Miller House

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Joaquin Miller House
Joaquin Miller House (Oakland, CA).JPG
The house in 2008
Joaquin Miller House is located in Oakland, California
Joaquin Miller House
Joaquin Miller House is located in California
Joaquin Miller House
Joaquin Miller House is located in the United States
Joaquin Miller House
Location3300 Joaquin Miller Rd., Oakland, California
Coordinates37°48′38″N 122°11′35″W / 37.81067°N 122.19303°W / 37.81067; -122.19303Coordinates: 37°48′38″N 122°11′35″W / 37.81067°N 122.19303°W / 37.81067; -122.19303
Area14 acres (5.7 ha)
Built1886 (1886)
ArchitectJoaquin Miller
Architectural styleVictorian
NRHP reference No.66000204
CHISL No.107[1]
ODL No.5
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966[2]
Designated NHLDecember 29, 1962[3]
Designated CHISL1933

The Joaquin Miller House, also known as The Abbey and The Hights [sic], is a historic house in Joaquin Miller Park, a public park in the Oakland Hills area of Oakland, California, United States. A crude, vaguely Gothic structure, it was the home of poet Joaquin Miller from 1886 until his death in 1913. Miller was one of the nation's first poets to write about the far western United States. The property, which includes several idiosyncratic monuments created by Miller, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.[3]


The Joaquin Miller House stands on the southern edge of Joaquin Miller Park, at the northwest corner of the western junction of Joaquin Miller Road with Sanborn Drive, the park's main circulating road. The house is a modest single-story structure, essentially little more than three separate rooms that have been joined together. Two of them are covered by gabled roofs, and have only vague vernacular references to Gothic Revival architecture. The third section is covered by a flat roof which has broad overhanging eaves. To this section is attached a wooden leanto of unknown function.[4]

Joaquin Miller[edit]

Joaquin Miller, born in 1837 in Indiana, grew up in the Oregon Territory, and spent years as a young man in California during the Gold Rush years. Poorly educated, he had a gift for verse and showmanship, and he used his experiences in the far west as material for both his poetry and touring presentations. He was particularly popular in England, and is best known for his 1871 Songs of the Sierras.[4]

In 1886 Miller purchased 100 acres (40 ha) of land, and built this house. From then until his death in 1913, he lived here, which he called "The Hights". He planted the surrounding trees and he personally built, on the eminence to the north, his own funeral pyre (not used) and monuments dedicated to Moses, explorer General John C. Frémont, and the poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. The Japanese poet Yone Noguchi began his literary career while living in the cabin adjoining Millers' during the latter half of the 1890s.


The Hights was purchased by the city of Oakland in 1919.[5] It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1962.[3][4] The simple Victorian style house is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966. The landmarked area is 14 acres (5.7 ha) in size, and includes the house and the various monuments erected by Miller.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Joaquin Miller Home". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-03-30.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c "Joaquin Miller House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2007-11-17. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b c d James Dillon (September 23, 1976) National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Joaquin Miller House (The Abbey) / The Abbey, National Park Service and Accompanying 10 photos, exterior, from 1975 and undated.
  5. ^ "Alameda California Historical Landmarks". Office of Historic Preservation. Retrieved November 2, 2005. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)