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Famous Residents

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Another aspect of Glen Ellen that has not been discussed here, but which is certainly an important aspect of its history, is its association with the famous personages and celebrities that have made their homes in the Glen Ellen and vicinity over time. General Vallejo, who in essence settled Sonoma County, built his sawmill in Glen Ellen, which is still extant, although he lived outside Sonoma and in his ranch house outside Petaluma. The most famous Glen Ellen resident would have to be Jack London, who first visited Glen Ellen in 1903 and made his home there in 1906. Historically, many of the first residents of the Glen Ellen area are now ‘famous’ by virtue of the fact that they settled the area and gave their names (and sometimes their buildings) to this area.

An example is Charles V. Stuart, who settled in the Glen Ellen area in 1869 and founded Glen Oaks Ranch. Many are famous now for having helped to found the Sonoma Valley’s wine industry, including Joshua and Henry J. Chauvet, Captain J. H. Drummond, and Mrs. Kate F. Warfield, and W. McPherson Hill.36 Charles J. Poppe lent his  name to the building in which he was a long-time merchant and postmaster in Glen Ellen. Others with ‘high profile’ names who lived in the Glen Ellen area include the Rudolf Spreckles, son of Charles Spreckles, the industrialist, and later Rudolf’s sister-in-law Alma Spreckles; George and Phoebe Hearst, of the newspaper family; Henry “Hap” Arnold, a World War II general who is credited with creating the modern U.S. Air Force and who gave his name to one of the most important roads in Sonoma Valley; the food writer M. F. K. Fisher, who lived on the Audubon Bouverie Preserve property in her last years; and David Pleydell Bouverie, the 8th Earl of Radner, a well-known architect in his native England, and founder of the Audubon Bouverie Preserve