In 1996 a complete restoration and renovation project was undertaken, including reconstruction of the historic water tower, based on the photo shown here. It is the tallest structure in Fort Bragg; probably the tallest in Mendocino county, for that matter. The Weller House Inn opened as a B&B in the summer of 1998. In 2008 the ballroom also became a venue for social Argentine tango, salsa, and swing dancing, occasionally featuring live music (no amplification necessary).
Vivien managed The Ear Inn, a New York restaurant and venue for live music and poetry readings, in the early 1980's. Independent filmmaking led to a decade based in Copenhagen, Berlin, Warsaw, and Helsinki, during the fascinating period of change while the Iron Curtain was tumbling down. Back in the States, Vivien became a landscaper, specializing in environmentally appropriate historic garden design.
She devoted herself to motherhood full time for five years. Finding an unmet need for illustrated books to help children learn second languages (multi-lingual pairs of books designed for 'immersion' rather than bilingual books which lead to 'translation'), she founded Macaronic Press and published Jake the Gardener in English, French, German, and Spanish. But her favorite language of all is social Argentine tango.
Vivien enjoys "slow food" and likes to create extraordinary dining experiences, such as recreation of a 1912 Thanksgiving menu a hundred years later. She is a committed environmentalist, a cyclist, and enjoys blacksmithing with her son. Managing the Weller House Inn brings a number of her interests together in one place, and her nomadic spirit is refreshed by taking care of travelers from all over the world.
Angelina has been the main housekeeper since the Weller House Inn first opened it’s doors in 1998. Fond memories include the bed breaking down on the first night the first room was sold. Her most used saying is “Paso a pasito, mas bonito” (Step by little step, more beautiful). Often “pasito” becomes “pasote” (stride).
Angelina studies English at the local college, and is very active in the local Catholic church, singing in the choir and helping cooking fabulous meals for hundreds of people.
If you hear beautiful singing, it might be Angelina making her way though the mountain of work to keep our rooms fresh and inviting
Horace Aaron Weller came to Fort Bragg to manage the Company Store, and built a one and a half story Victorian in 1886. In 1897, he added a second and third floor, making extensive use of beautiful redwood and fir paneling throughout the house, bringing the house to its present size of 10,000 square feet.
The main floor had ten rooms with a large entrance hall, comprising several paneled eating rooms, a study, parlor, music room, kitchen, pantry room, game room and office. Two seat benches and a redwood gothic arch enhance the hall and staircase, and there are three distinctive fireplaces. Four large bedrooms, together with a hall, bathroom and a three room attic complete the second floor. The master bedrooms were joined together by a connecting wash room with the original marble sink. The bathroom has an unusual enameled elephant-trunk pull toilet.
A stairway leads to the spectacular third floor ballroom,900 feet square with 15 foot ceilings. The ceilings and walls are paneled in polished old growth redwood. A rare curly redwood mantel also enhances this beautiful room. The hall has phenomenal acoustics, and was used as the Baptist meeting hall and Sunday school, until a 'real' church was built. The hand-forged bronze chandelier was designed for the space by Coe Studios in 2009.
When Mr. Weller died in 1929, the ballroom became "a real party place"; the huge hidden storage spaces along the perimeter of the hall may have come in very handy during prohibition...
California bed, breakfast and ballroom