Tour Locations | Carmel-by-the-Sea: Fairy Tale Houses Walking Tour
LOCATION 4 | Carmel-by-the-Sea: Fairy Tale Houses Walking Tour
Hansel and Gretel
Coming up on your right are two of Comstock's most famous Fairy Tale houses, called Hansel and Gretel.
Currently Gretel is receiving a much needed cement foundation as well as other necessary restorations. So unfortunately for the time being, the view of both Hansel and Gretel is blocked by fencing.
Stop here for a moment and I will tell you about Hugh Comstock the creator of these charming cottages.
At the age of 31, Hugh Comstock came to Carmel to visit his sister Catherine and her husband George Seideneck, who were both fairly well known artists in the quaint village of Carmel in 1924. Hugh had only planned on staying a short while, but once he met Mayotta Browne, the designer of a popular rag and felt doll called the Otsy-Totsy, he extended his stay.
After a lightning fast courtship, the two were married in Salinas in April, 1924. In August of the same year, the newlyweds purchased a building permit to construct a house to display Mayotta’s Otsy-Totsy rag dolls. They spent about $100 in building materials and constructed what they called “The Doll House.” Today this 244 square foot quaint cottage is called Hansel. There is a picture of Hansel on your phone screen now.
Neither Hugh or Mayotta had any real architectural or building experience, yet they fashioned a perfect storybook setting here for Mayotta’s dolls. They purposely designed their dwelling with no plumb-lines and used hand whittled trim boards to frame the doors and windows. And as an artist would use a brush, Hugh and Mayotta used hand trowels to apply a mixture of pine needles and plaster to cover the burlap and redwood walls.
A stonemason was hired to build the Carmel stone chimney which was purposely created in an uneven pattern. A year later, the Otsy-Totsy rag dolls had filled Hansel and Mayotta asked Hugh to build her another house that she could use as her office. Gretel was constructed in 1925 for $400.
Continue walking straight up Torres to the next corner where you will be turning right.