Olallieberry Inn

This magnificent house at 2476 Main Street was built by the Manderscheid brothers, Otto and Carl, who were born in Prussia and who arrived in Cambria in 1872. Both of them were pharmacists and they operated a drug store on Main Street. In 1874 they bought a lot from A. M. Hardie and the following year they built the house out of Cambria pine. The redwood siding came from trees growing north of Lucia with the milling being accomplished at the Leffingwell saw mill.

In 1883, the house was purchased by Benjamin Franklin. He is the person who bought the “saltbox” portion of the Guthrie-Bianchini House from Leonidas Root in 1882 and added the portion nearest to Burton Drive, selling it to Sarah Guthrie in 1883. He was a prominent Cambria businessman who also owned a general merchandise store, the Franklin Theater and the Granger Saloon in Cambria, all of which would be wiped out in the great fire of 1889. He also owned a 500 acre ranch on Santa Rosa Creek and a business block in San Luis Obispo which he rented out. In 1876, Franklin married Mabel Runyon and they had four children, all born in Cambria. In 1892, he married Blanche Music, daughter of Benjamin Franklin and Martha Music, and they had eight children.

The Olallieberry Inn  Bed and Breakfast in Cambria's East Village

The Olallieberry Inn Bed and Breakfast in Cambria's East Village

In 1901 the house was acquired by Amos and Ida Smithers. She was the grand-daughter of William and Eunice Leffingwell and he became the director of the Bank of Cambria in the 1920s. Amos Smithers also owned a ranch which eventually became tbe Leimert tract. He died at the house in 1933 and the house was rented until it was purchased by Theodore Rathbun for $5,000 in 1946. Rathbun sold it the following year to Christine and Winifred Brown.

Gordon and Frieda Howard bought the house from the Browns in 1955 and ran a boarding house and tourist home in it until the mid 1970s. They also leased a small restaurant across Main Street in the front yard of the “Music House” where Mrs. Howard was well known for her pies.

In 1976, a local citizen, Dr. Shaw, and his wife bought the house from the Frieda Howard estate and carefully restored it. The Shaws turned it into a bed-and-breakfast inn called “The Shaw House”. Dr. Shaw later sold it to an absentee owner who continued to operate the bed and breakfast.

In 1991, Peter and CarolAnn Irsfeld bought the house and lived in the three-room innkeeper’s cottage at the rear of the property. They expanded the back porch and glassed it in and added the modern kitchen.

Finally, in 2001, the Olallieberry Inn was purchased by Larry and Marilyn Draper and Marjorie Ott who are the current owners in 2010. Since their purchase, the Olallieberry Inn has been judged by the SLO County Tribune as the top-rated bed and breakfast in the county.

2 Responses to “Olallieberry Inn”

  1. B&J says:

    We have been studying the history of Cambria and the surrounding area for about ten years and these articles are just things we have learned. If you’re interested in history look at the categories on our site: people, buildings, etc. This should give you plenty of ideas but you’ll have to research them before you write.

    B & J

  2. Drejjmit says:

    How you find ideas for articles, I am always lack of new ideas for articles. Some tips would be great

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