Benbow Historic Inn, Northern California, USA.
BENBOW HISTORIC INN – HUMBOLT COUNTY, NORTHERN CALIFORNIA, USA
The Benbow Historic Inn was founded in 1926 and provided the perfect holiday retreat for stars such as Spencer Tracy, Clark Gable, Alan Ladd, Charles Laughton, Joan Fontaine (who honeymooned here with two different husbands), and Basil Rathbone, all of whom became patrons of the Inn. Dignitaries like Eleanor Roosevelt and President Herbert Hoover have also enjoyed Benbow’s hospitality. The most recent celebrity guest was the King of Jordan.
When Arthur Benbow purchased the 1,288 acres from Ernest Linser in 1922, he envisioned a ranch, but it soon became apparent that ranching would not be sufficient to meet the family’s needs. Instead, the family decided to build the resort hotel, golf course, and riding stables. The riding stables burned down in the 1950s, but the hotel and golf course are still operating today. Mr. Benbow had nine children – Joseph, Evangeline, Burtis, Clara, Helen, Jessie, Loleta, Walter, and Robert – eight of whom were born in Humboldt County.
Hotel Essence Photography was commissioned to photograph all of the rooms in the new eight-million-dollar extension, and to produce architectural photographs of the building’s façade during the day and night. Michelle and her team also created a portfolio of shots featuring the rose garden, restaurant, bar, lounge area, library, lobby, RV recreational vehicle park, swimming pool and organic gardens, plus food, afternoon tea and signature cocktail close-ups. These various details were all aimed at capturing the essence of Benbow Historic Inn.
Preparing for a 100 year celebration
The current owners, John and Teresa Porter and Jack Macdonald, purchased the Inn in 1994, and have taken their role as guardians of the Benbow Historic Inn very seriously. Teresa, in particular, has spent the last two decades researching the Benbow family history, reading hundreds of letters and cataloging historic artefacts, many of which feature in the rooms. Tersa is working on a book that will cioncide with the centenary in 2026
Hotel Essence Photography Crew:
Michelle Chaplow – Photographer
Joaquin Alarcon – Assistant Photographer
Chris Chaplow – Photography Production
Elena Pons – Room and food stylist
Doreen Kaplan – Benbow Production management