Despite COVID-19, exciting things are happening at Last House on the Bouverie Preserve!
Join us on April 24, 2021 for a writers workshop led by author and journalist Elizabeth Fishel. Discover Fisher's life and legacy, take a virtual tour of the house she designed on the magnificent Bouverie Preserve, and be inspired by her artfully designed spaces for writing, rest, and socializing. Short guided exercises, photos, discussion and sharing will help us reflect on our lives during sheltering-in-place and come away with new ideas for transforming our homes and creative practices.
- Our writing contest featuring the voices of emerging writers was a great success! Check out the winning essays!
- This winter, we'll be hosting author interviews and weekend workshops in the visual arts, food, literature/writing, and nature.
- Join us on social media, @AudubonCanyonRanch, or check our calendar of event for latest schedule.
About M.F.K. Fisher
Described by W. H. Auden as “America’s greatest writer,” M.F.K. Fisher wrote 13 books during 21 years of residence in her 'Last House,' which was built for her by landowner and architect David Pleydell-Bouverie. It was here that she welcomed friends such as Julia Child, James Beard, and Maya Angelou for conversations at the table.
Aside from writing approximately 34 books in her lifetime, another one of Fisher’s legacies is the Napa Wine Library. In 1961, M.F.K. Fisher along with James Beard and a group of other notables, saw a need for a place in Napa where the public could access a variety of wine materials. They started a campaign to acquire wine literature and raise funds and in 1963 the Napa Valley Wine Library Association was created. Fisher helped to launch this effort and served on the board for a time. The Napa Valley Wine Library Association thrives today and materials for the Wine Library collection are housed in the St Helena Public Library.
During her life and continuing to this day, she influenced many with her reflections on food. You can hear her voice in the writings of many popular chefs today. We think she would say when we talk about food, we are talking about ourselves, our identity and our place in the world.
Mary Frances, as she was known by her family and friends, lived in Last House on the Bouverie Preserve from 1971 until her death in 1992.
Restoring the legendary author's home
Fisher treasured her two-room palazzino, which features a simple design, her signature Chinese red walls, built-in bookcases for over 2,000 books and arched porches that look west to Sonoma Mountain and east to the 535 acres of land protected by ACR. Since 2016, we have been restoring Last House to capture the spirit and the flavor of her life on the preserve and as an exclusive destination honoring her love of food, wine, literature and nature.
Complementing the renovation are paintings, furnishings and memorabilia donated back to the house by family and friends. “Reaching out to family and friends who have lovingly shared items, memories, and stories has been rich,” said Kennedy Golden, Fisher’s daughter and an advisor on the project. Among the donated items, Fisher’s Coronomatic typewriter sits quietly in one corner, rough draft secured on the platen for curious observers.
Donate to Last House
Celebrate Fisher’s legacy with your gift in support of Last House renovation and programs.
Why Sonoma County wildfire survivors believe oak trees saved their homes | Sonoma Index-Tribune | 7/26/19
Glen Ellen's famous residents | The Press Democrat | 6/20/19
A Lingering Legacy | Edible Marin & Wine Country | 2/28/18
Historic M.F.K. Fisher Last House rescued during wine country fires | Eater SF | 10/11/17
M.F.K. Fisher's Last House still standing, thanks to fire ecologist | San Francisco Chronicle | 10/12/17
New life for M.F.K. Fisher's 'Last House' in Glen Ellen | Sonoma Index-Tribune | 8/29/17