A circa 1907 building with a rich history, the Goose & Turrets B&B has been a landmark to the citizens of Montara ever since. Today the Goose & Turrets B&B’s owners, Raymond and Emily Hoche-Mong have transformed the historic building into a refuge for travelers seeking a different kind of vacation experience.
The structure now housing the Goose & Turrets Bed & Breakfast opened for business on April 15, 1908, as the Town Hall, post office, and a general merchandise store operated by Lawrence J. Kent. I. J. Kent was the first postmaster. The building was designed by Will Sparks, “the well known artist,” according to The Montara News, and built by M. A. Guynn.
At that time, Montara was to be a model new town on the Ocean Shore Railroad. San Francisco Publisher Harr Wagner was a chief developer; he founded an art colony here and built several hotels and cottages for the use of artists. “Poet of the Sierras” Joachim Miller came via the Ocean Shore Railroad on February 22, 1908, to raise the American flag and to plant a sequoia tree (which lived only a short time) at the corner of Harte and the Boulevard. Short-lived also was Mr. Wagner’s dream, which faded with the demise of the railroad.
The next firm date is August 6, 1927, when the Spanish War veterans dedicated the Nelson A. Miles (General of the Army during the Spanish American War) Camp No. 10. A carefully preserved flag from those days still hangs in the house as does a photograph of the old boys. The mortars (or “short cannon” – we’ve had many “expert” guest opinions. However, no one has built directly across the street) flanking the main entrance were used on shipboard in that 1898 war and were donated by the Benecia Arsenal on Admission Day 1929.
During World War II, the captain of the artillery school on Montara Beach and his family and junior officers lived in what is now the Goose & Turrets. Grace Trimingham (Jepsen), who was the teacher at the Montara Grammar School and a charmingly available single woman, remembers coming to parties here during that period.
After the war, Mrs. Berger (“a big real estate lady”) acquired the place, and local lore says she sold and resold it several times without ever divesting herself of the property.
By 1965, Carl and Vivian Hess owned the property (which still consisted of nearly the whole block bounded by George, Date, Franklin, and Cedar Streets) and lived here with their children, horses, and assorted pets. It was probably under this regime that the well planned gardens were established. Daughter Carla Hess remembers that her father rented the upstairs hall (which is now the Hoche-Mongs’ 2,200 plus square feet of living space and which, in the veterans’ time, hosted illegal prize fights) to a church (shades of Montara Sunday School!).
Dry flowers, a species found on the coast in Montara, are a profitable crop. Ask to see samples at the Goose & Turrets.
In the 1970s, the Hesses used much of the building as a nursing home. Mrs. F. M. Cannon remembers her late husband, Dr. Cannon, making calls when the “old ladies” were sick. She warmly remembers Mrs. Hess and her daughters as “really kind people.”
There is another cloudy period, and an art dealer in Half Moon Bay recalls going to 835 George Street to deliver a painting and finding herself in the midst of a nudist colony.
In 1979, Marc Marcus, a beloved local jazz musician, and the late Parker Rand bought the place to use as residence, studio, and performance space. This was a joyous spell for the old house. Tapes survive of Sunday afternoon jazz concerts; art shows were organized in the parking lot; dance lessons were given upstairs. A food co-op functioned in one of the six garages. Exercise classes were held in the large open spaces upstairs. Harr Wagner’s long dormant dream became a reality.
Raymond and Emily Hoche-Mong purchased the 14-room house in 1983 and made it, first, their comfortable and spacious residence, and, second, a friendly bed and breakfast. The spectacular Monterey cypress hedge surrounding the property dates from the 1940s and ’50s and is annually “squared off” by Bruce and his adept crew (from the Peninsula Tree Service). In summer, it’s a background canvas for wild roses, nasturtiums, fuschias, and wandering geraniums. There’s an orchard, vegetable garden, herb garden, rose garden, plus fountains, a bocce ball pista, a hammock, swing, and pleasant places to enjoy the grounds. The famous hedge furnishes “condo” style living for many birds – as well as for hunting cats.
Guests with interests in San Mateo or Silicon Valley may wish to make the short commute to Montara, California. The busy industrial and computer milieu can be escaped at our tranquil location.
The same can be said for guests wishing to visit San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, the Pacific Beaches or SanBerkeley and the East Bay. as the Goose & Turrets B&B offers a second-to-none lodging experience. The seaside village of Montara is located 7 miles north of downtown Half Moon Bay. Our personalized service, traditional afternoon tea and four course breakfaster not found at standard hotels.
What Sets the Goose & Turrets B&B Apart From Others
Nature lovers, bird watchers, gardening enthusiasts, and others will enjoy all of the activities the Goose & Turrets B&B has to offer. From taking a half-mile walk to explore some of California’s pristine, white coastline to participating in a morning, self-guided bird watching session, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities designed to keep guests active, engaged and satisfied.
After working up an appetite all day, guests can participate in our daily, 4:30 Afternoon Tea. Our social tea time, in addition to our Four Course Breakfast, is already included in your room rate, so there are no hidden surprises or additional dining charges. For the great customer service and delicious culinary surprises, choose the Goose & Turrets B&B. Contact us today to make a reservation!