Hearst San Simeon, California

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

William Randolph Hearst's personal indulgence is now a California state historical monument. It was gray and damp at the visitor center, and few things are as gloomy as the California coast under low clouds, but the bus to the castle broke through the clouds and into bright sunshine.
Left: a fogbow

Below: the outdoor pool. Beyond the obvious exercise in conspicuous consumption, the pool had a practical use. Hearst was concerned, with good reason, about fire. The pool served as a firefighting reservoir.

Although the fog is creeping in on little cat feet, the grass has taken on its usual summer tan hue and is obviously dry; Hearst was well advised to take the threat of fire seriously.
A terrace looking west over the clouds.
The main building looks more like a cathedral than a mansion.
The modestly appointed indoor pool.
Above: the castle on its hilltop. Below: tectonics in action. The humps are former sea stacks, now above sea level because of crustal uplift.

Return to Virtual FieldTrips Index
Return to Historic Sites Index
Return to Professor Dutch's Home Page

Created 28 March 2007, Last Update 04 June 2020