The Grave Site

The Londons enjoyed riding horseback over their ranch.  One day, as they visited the grave site of the Greenlaw children, Jack was deeply moved by the feeling of loneliness at the children's graves and he felt that both he and the children would be less lonely if he were buried in this place when his time came.

He commented to Charmian, "I wouldn't mind if you laid my ashes on the knoll where the Greenlaw children are buried.  And roll over me a red boulder from the ruins of the Big House".

Jack London died on Wednesday, November 22, 1916.  The next day his body lay in state in a small gray casket in the tiny study of the cottage.  On Friday, Eliza Shepard (his step sister)  accompanied his body through hundreds of tearful neighbors to the station in Glen Ellen, en route to Oakland for cremation and a memorial service.  Waiting at the station in Oakland were his daughters Joan and Bess, and many friends.  Charmian, feeling that the Oakland funeral service was for his first family, remained in Glen Ellen.  On Sunday, November 26, George Sterling and Ernest Matthews brought the urn containing Jack's ashes to the ranch in Glen Ellen. 

On so, on November 26, 1916, in a silent ceremony, Charmian London placed her husband's ashes on the chosen knoll under a large lava rock.  After she passed away in 1955, Charmian's ashes were also laid to rest under the rock.

The grave site of Jack and Charmian London is a short walk from the House of Happy Walls. The site is located on a small knoll overlooking the Valley of the Moon, just a few steps from the children's graves and surrounded by native shrubs and trees.

The large lava rock was initially intended for use in the construction of the Wolf House (Jack called it the Big House), but found to be too large and unsuitable by the architect.  It was pulled by four horses from the Wolf House to the grave site and placed over an urn holding Jack London's ashes.

Jack and Charmian London's grave

Little is known about the Greenlaw family or their children David (1876) and Lilly (1877).  The wooden grave markers hold their names and the years of death. Over the years, as the original redwood grave markers deteriorated, they were replaced by identical markers by the successive owners of the property.

The graves of the Greenlaw Children David, (died 1876)

and Lilli (died 1877).

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