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Glen Tavern Inn

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Subject: Santa Paula, California
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Glen Tavern Inn

Glen Tavern Hotel
Glen Tavern Inn
Location Santa Paula, California

34°21′18″N 119°3′40″W / 34.35500°N 119.06111°W / 34.35500; -119.06111Coordinates: 34°21′18″N 119°3′40″W / 34.35500°N 119.06111°W / 34.35500; -119.06111

Built 1911
Architect Crookshank & Summers; Hunt & Burns
Architectural style Bungalow/craftsman, Tudor Revival
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 84001225[1]
Added to NRHP July 26, 1984

The Glen Tavern Inn is a hotel located in Santa Paula, California approximately 12 miles (19 km) inland from the Pacific Ocean in the Santa Clarita Valley. It was listed as a landmark on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. It is also an official city and Ventura County landmark.


The hotel was built in 1911 and is known for its colorful history. At the time the Inn was built, Santa Paula was growing and prospering as an oil town, and was headquarters to Union Oil. The Tudor-Craftsman hotel was designed by famed architects Burns and Hunt and funded by a consortium of twenty-five wealthy townsmen each of whom anted one thousand dollars for its construction. It was erected directly opposite the train depot to provide accommodations to the many newcomers lured to the area by the burgeoning oil and citrus industries, and to provide a gathering place for Santa Paula's growing high society circles.

During Prohibition, the Inn retained something of its Wild West origins as the third floor - at that time an open space not yet built out into separate guestrooms - was utilized as a speakeasy, brothel and gambling parlor. Many legends stem from this era, including tales of murdered prostitutes and shootouts between unruly gamblers. These stories, though mostly unconfirmed, persist with a life of their own as part of the hotel’s rich lore.

In the 1930s, Hollywood discovered the valley hamlet of Santa Paula.[2] Its ruggedly picturesque vistas and hills – improbably close to the sprawl of Los Angeles - provided a setting for numerous Westerns. During this era, the Glen Tavern Inn hosted such notables as Carol Lombard, John Wayne, Houdini and canine thespian, Rin Tin Tin, who boasted his own suite long before “pet-friendly” entered the hospitality lexicon.

Eventually, as oil money and old Hollywood moved on Santa Paula traded fortune, glamour and vice for the quieter constancy of agriculture and small town life Americana. The train depot became defunct, and likewise economic development bypassed the town. For the next half century the hotel endured a marginal existence, alternating owners and uses many times as it slowly sank into flop-house decrepitude until it was eventually rescued by developers with intentions of restoring its original grandeur.

Ghost stories

Keeping with hotel’s motto “Where the Past Comes to Life,” even the dead reportedly maintain a vivid presence at the Inn.[3] The Glen Tavern is a favorite of paranormal aficionados who claim it is one of the most haunted venues in the region, and in July 2007, the Ventura Paranormal Society held its annual convention there.[4] Ghost anecdotes abound as believers in the uncanny report encounters with long expired guests who for unknown reasons prefer to extend their stays indefinitely.

The Glen Tavern Inn regularly hosts paranormal conferences.

the show Ghost Adventures did an Episode of Season 7 Episode 17 called Glen Tavern Inn.

Episode Synopsis: The guys explore the Glen Tavern Inn in Santa Paula, Cal., where they are joined for a lockdown by actress Brit Morgan and singer Mimi Page. During the investigation, they hold a séance and read tarot cards. Original Air Date: Mar 29, 2013

The Hotel today

In 2005-7, the Glen Tavern Inn was extensively renovated by the Jennett Investment Group, and reopened as a full service hotel, restaurant and lounge. It is frequently rented for private parties and events and has largely reclaimed its faded status as a center for local social life. The renovation preserved the Inn’s historical attributes alongside the addition of more modern amenities. It also revived its fabled glamour, and offers visitors a chance to relive the gilded days of excess and adventure at a place where spirited revelers and restless spirits seem to comingle quite amicably.

Mid-renovation, in April 2006, the hotel sustained a fire. Fortunately, fire fighters were able to douse the blaze in time to save the landmark from major harm, and the burned portion was rebuilt.

On February 24, 2008, the Glen Tavern Inn was awarded Certificates of Special Recognition from the United States Senate, United States Congress and the California State Assembly for the successful restoration project.[5]

See also


Further reading

  • The Great Lifeboat Disaster of 1886 (by J. Allen Miller, new edition by Andrew Farthing. Published by ISBN 1-874516-09-X)

External links

  • Glen Tavern Inn website
  • Ventura County listings at

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