The Post Ranch Inn in 1920
|Elevation||945 ft (288 m)|
Posts (formerly Posts Summit) is an Unincorporated community in the Big Sur region of Monterey County, California. It is located on Pacific Coast Highway, a.k.a. Highway 1 or the Cabrillo Highway near Post Creek, 0.5 miles (0.80 km) southeast of the unincorporated area of Loma Vista and 3 miles (4.8 km) east-southeast of Pfeiffer Point, at an elevation of 945 feet (288 m).
Before the area was called Posts Summit, it was simply the Post Ranch. William Brainard Post homesteaded the site in the late 1860s, and his ranch became a station for the stage coach route. The area is centered on the ranch's old farmhouse, which still sits at the northeast corner of Highway 1 and Coast Ridge Road, at the edge of the grounds of the Ventana Inn and Spa. The Post Ranch Inn, located across the road on the west side of Highway 1, was named after the former Post property, on which it was built. A post office operated at Posts from 1889 to 1910; it was moved in 1905 several miles northwest to the unincorporated village of Big Sur.
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The area is steeped in cultural history. In addition to the two resorts are a few local businesses to the south scattered along Highway 1, including art galleries, the Henry Miller Memorial Library, and Nepenthe. The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a not-for-profit bookstore and community arts center that is named after and sells books by the novelist and artist Henry Miller, who lived in Big Sur from 1944 to 1962. In 1944, the then penniless Miller was first taken in by novelist Lynn Sargent, who let him write and live at her cabin, the Log House, previously owned by the Trail Club of Jolon. In 1945, Miller moved several miles south to Partington Ridge, next to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Miller had moved to Big Sur at the invitation of the Greco-French artist Jean Varda, uncle of filmmaker Agnès Varda. While in Big Sur, Miller and Jean Varda were part of a local group of bohemians known as the Anderson Creek Gang, many of whom lived at the former highway work camp near the mouth of Anderson Creek. Miller himself lived in a shack there during 1946 before moving back up to Partington Ridge in 1947. In Miller's honor, the library also publishes Ping Pong journal, a literary magazine. The library, which is 0.25 miles (0.40 km) south of Nepenthe and is tucked into a redwood grove, was founded in 1981 by Miller's longtime friend Emil White, whose former home it occupies. The library is 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of the Post farmhouse.
The Log House on the grounds of Nepenthe, on the west side of Highway 1, was next owned by Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. They discovered it during the World War II years while returning to Los Angeles from a trip to sell War Bonds. Welles and Hayworth stopped at the house to picnic, fell in love with it and spent the afternoon there, and bought the place for $167 but never stayed overnight and never managed to return. Still, it came to be known as their love chalet. The Log House was sold in 1947 to Lolly and Bill Fassett, who had Frank Lloyd Wright protege Rowan Maiden design a modernistic structure of redwood and adobe bricks that was constructed by famed local builders Frank and Walter Trotter. It is now a restaurant complex with a formal dining room, an informal eatery called Cafe Kevah, and the Phoenix Shop and gallery. Miller knew the Fassetts, visited Nepenthe often, and was known to play ping-pong with Bill Fassett. Miller memorialized Nepenthe in his paean to the area, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, written between 1955 and 1957. In 1963, the folk dancing scene from the film The Sandpiper with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton was choreographed and rehearsed at Nepenthe while the cast was filming in the area, but was later filmed on a soundstage built to resemble the restaurant. Nepenthe is 0.7 miles (1.1 km) southeast of the Post farmhouse.
At the county level, Posts is represented on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors by Mary Adams. In the California State Legislature, Posts is in the 17th Senate District, represented by Democrat Bill Monning, and in the 30th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Robert Rivas. In the United States House of Representatives, Posts is in California's 20th congressional district, represented by Democrat Jimmy Panetta
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Posts, California
- Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
- "Monterey County Supervisorial District 5 Map (North District 5)" (PDF). County of Monterey. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
- "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
- "California's 20th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved September 24, 2014.