132 Central Avenue, Salinas, California
Steinbeck returned to the house several times in the 1940s as a retreat from the increasing pressures of fame and fortune. Today it is owned by descendants of his sister Elizabeth Steinbeck Ainsworth. More photo's on: blog.sfgate
"We came up, built a four room house for ourselves, much like the Greenwood Road house. There had been an oil well on the place and we used the big timbers and boards for our house." Steinbeck loved his mountain hideaway so much so that he called it an estate. "Then since Carol loves to swim I asked about swimming pools and I discovered a curious thing. The cost of swimming pools isn't the pool but the machinery for filtering the water over and over since water is expensive. But we had a four inch head of spring water. Now we built a long narrow swimming pool and turned our spring into it. If it were a city pool with the big pumps and filters, it would have cost between eight and ten thousand dollars. But a concrete tank with a spring running in costs $1500."
John had begun writing The Grapes of Wrath in Los Gatos, but wrote the bulk of it on the mountain.
Greenwood Lane Home
In May 1936, John and Carol Steinbeck purchased a 0.663 hectare plot of land in what was then Los Gatos, California (now Monte Sereno). Carol designed a small, 139 square meter home, built in summer 1936 and the first home owned by Steinbeck. To insure his privacy, Steinbeck built an 250cm-high grape stake fence around the property. On the entrance gate he placed a carved wooden plaque, "Arroyo del Ajo" (Garlic Gulch). While living in this house, Steinbeck completed Of Mice and Men and wrote much ofThe Grapes of Wrath. There he entertained guests such as Burgess Meredith and Charlie Chaplin. Because other homes were being built close by to the Steinbecks, they began to lose their privacy. Consequently they moved again, selling this house in September 1938. In December 1989, this house was added to the National Historic Registry. Steinbeck had built the house for approximately $8,000; it sold in 2004 for $5,600,000. sjsu.edu/steinbeck
425 Eardley Avenue, Monterey
After separating from his wife Carol and leaving the Biddle Ranch in April 1941, Steinbeck purchased a small run-down house under the shade of a spreading live oak tree on Eardley Avenue in Monterey. Here he worked with Ed Ricketts on the manuscript of Sea of Cortez and with producer Lewis Milestone on the screenplay for The Red Pony.
Close to the border with Pacific Grove and directly up the hill from Ricketts Lab on Cannery Row, the house was also within walking distance of the studio of Ellwood Graham and Judith Deim (then known as Barbara Stevenson). Steinbeck hired Graham to paint his portrait as a favor to the artist who needed the money. Reproductions exist but the original canvas is lost.
At Eardley Street, Carol and his much younger lover, Gwyn Conger, engaged in a confrontation over his indecision as to which woman he should stay with. Both claimed to be pregnant. Steinbeck elected to join Gwyn and by the end of the year had moved with her to New York. steinbeckcountry
'I bought a small house and garden in Pacific Grove...' (John Steinbeck: A Life in Letters). John Steinbeck wrote these words to a friend about this charming house he called home in the 1940s.vrbo
On returning from his role as a war correspondent, in 1944 Steinbeck purchased the Lara-Soto Adobe in Monterey as a family home for Gwyn and their infant son Thom. He had known the adobe since boyhood and declared “It is one of the oldest and nicest adobes in town.” Here and in an office on Alvarado Street Steinbeck wrote The Pearl. The family left for Mexico in early 1945 to work on the filming of the movie. They never returned as, angered by Steinbeck’s unflattering portrayal of the town in Cannery Row and Tortilla Flat, Monterey’s wartime rationing board made life difficult for them.
Ed Ricketts' Home 331 Lighthouse Ave.
The Making of a New Yorker
November 1, 2009
New York is the only city I have ever lived in. I have lived in the country, in the small town, and in New York. It is true I have had apartments in San Francisco, Mexico City, Los Angeles, Paris, and sometimes stayed for months, but that is a very different thing. This is a matter of feeling.
The transition from small town to New York is a slow and rough process. I am writing it not because I think my experience was unique; quite the contrary. I suspect that millions of New Yorkers who were not born here have had much the same experience–at least parallel experiences….
When I came the first time to New York in 1925 I had never been to a city in my life. I arrived on a boat, tourist, one hundred dollars. It was November…. Read all; mivialartsthe-making-of-a-new-yorker
After a brief stay with friends in Suffren, New York, John and Gwyn moved to a two-bedroom apartment at the Bedford, a residential hotel in Manhattan. Six months later, they moved to a rented house at Sneden’s Landing, across the Hudson River. It was during this time that Steinbeck published The Moon is Down. literarytraveler
55 Woods Road Palisades, N.Y.
From afar, New York, like many of the cities he loved, held a captivating beauty and magnetic pull. But up close, these cities felt more like anchors. Home, for Steinbeck, was the road. Upon his return from the war, he was overcome by nostalgia for Monterey. He talked frequently of moving back until he learned Gwyn was pregnant. And so he delayed plans to move back to Monterey until after the baby was old enough to travel.
John Steinbeck moved to 330 East 51st Street in 1943, only four years after the publication of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novelThe Grapes of Wrath. It was at this 1899 brick townhouse that he wrote Cannery Row; at the time he was working as a war correspondent for the New York Herald Tribune. After traveling extensively during the late ‘40s, Steinbeck moved back to New York in 1951 and lived at 206 East 72nd Street until his death in 1968.
Steinbeck lived in a beautiful brownstone house at this site from 1951 until his death in 1968. The house has been replaced by an apartment building called the Wellesley. His house looked very much like the one still standing at 210 E 72nd. He wrote Winter of our Discontent and Travels with Charley while living here.
1 Avenue de Marigny, Paris
From June through September he wrote an article each week for Le Figaro newspaper. Presented as an American’s impression of the country, they were translated into French and published in the weekend literary supplement. In 1956 these pieces were collected into a volume as Un Américain à New-York et à Paris.
Steinbeck used the address of the townhouse (1 Avenue de Marigny) as the residence of Pippin Héristal in The Short Reign of Pippin IV (1957). He set the story in the Palace of Versailles, the National Assembly, and the streets of Paris. steinbeckcountry/paris-france