John Little State Natural Reserve
|John Little State Natural Reserve|
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
|Location||55420 Cabrillo Highway, Monterey County, USA|
|Nearest city||Cambria, California|
|Area||21 acres (8.5 ha)|
|Governing body||California Department of Parks and Recreation|
John Little State Natural Reserve is a state park unit of California, United States, protecting a section of steep, rugged cliffs on the Big Sur coast. The reserve flanks the mouth of Lime Creek and contains the 1917 cabin of Elizabeth K. Livermore, an early conservationist. A small portion of the reserve extends across Highway 1 at the north end. It is located 9.5 miles (15.3 km) north of Lucia and 1 mile (1.6 km) south of the Esalen Institute in Monterey County on California State Route 1. The 21-acre (8.5 ha) park was established in 1953.
Elizabeth "Beth" Livermore was from a socially prominent Marin County, California family. Her wealthy nephews Norman and Putnam Livermore had connections in the California State Parks System from 1950–1980. Putnam Livermore was a co-founder of the Trust for Public Land. Beth Livermore rode a pinto horse, homesteaded the land in the 1930s, and worked the land herself. In 1947, Beth Livermore married Matthew Schmidt, who had recently been paroled from San Quentin, as he had been convicted of complicity in the 1910 anarchist bombing of the Los Angeles Times building. Matt drove the getaway car.
In 1954 Livermore was killed at Big Creek, when she drove her car into the stream after visiting friends. Livermore bequeathed 25 acres (10 ha) and her cabin to be used as a state park. Livermore called property 'Rancho Para Todos' (Ranch For Everyone).
Her nephew and heir, Putnam Livermore, helped prominent conservationist Harriet Burgess transfer the property and turn it into a natural reserve. It is named after Beth Livermore's friend, John Little.
The rocky beach is closed to the public. The Reserve is not open for public access. The gated driveway to the Livermore cabin is located south of the Esalen Institute along the Big Sur Coast Highway. There are vehicle pull-outs along the highway with views of the ocean.
- "John Little SNR". California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10" (PDF). California State Parks: 24. Retrieved 2012-07-03. Cite journal requires
- Early Photograph of the Ventana Backcountry
- Putnam Livermore's Parks
- John Little State Natural Reserve