Home Other Stuff My Aunt’s Octagon House in SFChronicle

My Aunt’s Octagon House in SFChronicle

by Monte R.

I came across this article in the SF Chronicle, was published last year, about my late aunt Elinor Howenstine’s house up in Sonoma.

Redfin has the new pictures after the remodel, apparently the new owners (from Blue Bottle Coffee) are reselling it.

I used to spend about a week in this house almost every summer from 1996-2009 – it was down in a ravine on about a dozen acres set amongst farming vineyards.  An amazing place.

Quiet and unique, set so far away from the roads all you could hear would be the birds and wild turkeys that roamed the property.  Nothing else like it.  I thought it was great the new owners kept the red Formica kitchen counter tops.

Some of my pictures inside the house back in the day, along with rare pics of my aunt actually inside the house with me.

Nobody in her family liked the house (except me)  – it was too remote and off the grid for most people.  I was the only one in the family to accept Elinor’s invitations to go up and spend time here.

This one is shaped like an octagon, bought by the Freemans from the only previous owner, a woman named Elinor Howenstine, who led a fascinating life that included a position as one of the first female stockholders at investment management firm Dodge & Cox. She was a local iconoclast. And she decided that building an octagon-shaped house nestled deep in the woods of Wine Country was the next logical eccentric accomplishment …

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