Stonepine Estate

Located among the rolling hills of California’s Monterey Peninsula, Stonepine Estate was originally constructed by Helen Crocker Russell and her husband, Henry Porter Russell. Helen hailed from the renowned Crocker family, which had played an integral role in developing California during its formative years. The Crockers specifically traced their linage to Charles Crocker, who had first ventured to the state amid the California Gold Rush. After spending some time operating a dry-goods store in Sacramento, Crocker joined a group of investors who desired to create the nation’s first transcontinental railway. Alongside Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, and Mark Hopkins, Crocker founded the Central Pacific Railway in 1861 to achieve this goal. Their company quickly set about building new rail lines across the Great Plains that ultimately connected America’s eastern railroads to the ports lining San Francisco Bay. Crocker’s main contribution involved providing a source of labor through his construction firm, Charles Crocker & Co. Seizing upon the opportunity, Crocker decided to invest in another transcontinental railway that sought to link many of California’s coastal communities together for the first time. His involvement with the two projects had established him as one of the country’s leading railroad magnates by the late 1800s.

Helen Crocker Russell herself was the granddaughter of Charles Crocker through his third son, William Henry Crocker. A noted banker, William had worked to become the president of the family’s Crocker National Bank by the turn of the twentieth century. Both Helen and her husband traveled frequently across the United States, often staying at a remote, private residence in Pebble Beach to escape the rigors of city life. The two yearned to create a similar environment for themselves back on the West Coast and decided to build a secluded ranch on the outskirts of a village known as Carmel Valley. Built to resemble a beautiful Mediterranean estate, the couple christened their new home as the “Double H Ranch” when it debuted in 1920. While the Double H Ranch would remain within the Russell family over the next several decades, their descendants continuously auctioned away portions of the compound to interested buyers. Gordon and Noel Hentschel eventually purchased the ranch itself in 1983, transforming it into a luxurious country resort that they called the “Stonepine Estate.” The destination has since become one of California’s most preeminent holiday retreats, attracting the likes of Hollywood celebrities, international business leaders, and distinguished heads-of-state.

Stonepine Estate, a member of Historic Hotels of America since 2019, dates back to 1920.