by Gwilym Owen
October 22, 2003
He and his wife acquired land in Castro Canyon, which offered the privacy and isolation they were looking for.
Initially, Helmuth constructed a redwood barn to contain livestock and a workshop, with used material obtained from along Monterey's Cannery Row. This building is now the centrepiece of Deetjen's, as it is a restaurant with an extraordinarily romantic setting, offering hearty meals and a roaring fire!
Deetjen's became a mecca for Hollywood due to its inspiration and privacy, and people could come for weeks to hike, write, or sleep in the certain knowledge that they weren't going to be disturbed.
We happened by Deetjen's on our drive up the coast and stopped for a quick drink in the restaurant, warming ourselves by the fire. It really is a beautiful spot, but you have to wonder just what it is that "Grandpa" Deetjen was on the run for - perhaps we should be grateful, because without that reason, Deetjen's Inn might not have been built!
Over the years, with the help of prison labor, more and more rooms were added in the style of Helmuth's native Norway, and each of them was given a unique personality and name to match. All of the rooms were built from scavenged, locally milled redwood.
Check out the website for an insight into this magical place!
From journal Big Sur: The Sublime Driving Holiday