Heart’s Ease

The historic building located on the northwest corner of Bridge Street and Burton Drive is today known as Hearts Ease, purveyor of herbs, plants and gardening supplies and owner of one of the most beautiful gardens in Cambria. But, since the house was built in the early 1870s, there have been around twenty different owners.

One of the early owners was George Proctor who moved to Cambria with his second wife, Lucinda Morris in 1861. It was Proctor who built the three-story Proctor Hotel on the southwest corner of Bridge and Main Streets where Bob and Jan’s Bottle Shop currently stands. He was also part owner of the Souza house across the street which is presently Robin’s Restaurant.

Heart's Ease

Heart's Ease

In 1880, the house was purchased by the Taylor brothers, John and James, who were born in Scotland, emigrated to New York state and then came to California via the Isthmus of Panama. By the time they purchased this property, they owned land in various parts of the county and John owned all of what is now called Happy Hill, Park Hill and Lodge Hill. John cut down many of the pines on his property and sold the timber. He replaced these trees with the pines for which Cambria is now famous and, after he died, it was his descendants who sold all of this property to The Cambria Development Company in 1928. They subdivided the property into the now famous twenty-five foot lots and built the Cambria Pines Lodge to house prospective land buyers during their visits to Cambria.

In 1925, John Taylor’s heirs sold the house to Jeanette and Alexander Campbell who rented the house and adjacent Mr. Carroll’s Blacksmith Shop building to a variety of tenants until they died in the mid 1940s. The Campbells lived in a two-story home located where the Redwood Center is today.

After that, there was a string of owners who bought the property, rented out the buildings and soon sold to the next owner. Among the many owners during this period was actress Angela Lansbury in the 1970s, whose relatives, Pat and Caroline Pullen, had an antique shop there.

Lansbury sold to Sharon Lovejoy and Jeff Prostovich in 1986 and they moved their Heart’s Ease business into the building from what is now The Old Stone Station in west village. Sharon is currently a recognized garden expert and a nationally famous garden and nature writer and she and Jeff led the effort to save the Guthrie-Bianchini House from being torn down in 1987 and 1988. Sharon Lovejoy sold the business to Susan Pendergast, former shop manager, in 1994 but retained ownership of the building itself. In 2005, Kathryn Clayton, who is the current owner, bought the business from Susan and she bought the building from Sharon and Jeff.

2 Responses to “Heart’s Ease”

  1. Frances Moss says:

    I am so glad to have this opportunity to expand on the Heart’s Ease beautiful garden history. My mother who retired from being xray tech assistant at Cal Poly, was in the shop, (it must have been right after Sharon and Jeff bought the place), and she (Jeanne Walker) and Sharon got into a conversation and became quick friends. My mother was very well versed in so many aspects of the garden….well, she was British..what can I say…and had a wonderful imaginitive eye for it…and before she knew it she was working for Sharon landscaping the garden into wonderful plots with flowers for butterflies and another for bees, etc. I remember all the Canterbury Bells along the side fence…and adventurous looking pathways meandering around and through them all. Sharon called my mother the Plant Nanny. Mom was in her element, indeed. A happy part of her memories.

  2. Rebecca Honegger says:

    Beloved Heart’s Ease,
    you have been hey very important and high point in my life!
    Your presence in my life has been the greatest joy.
    My most favorite thing is to come and visit you with my two sisters. We call it sister day. The anticipation is palpable. Although we have been through the store hundreds of times each step across the threshold transport us 2 fairyland another time where all things are good and happy. I can smell the store even know its been 5 years since I crossed up fresh hold and walk to the gardens and picked up a little bag of lavender.
    I will never forget you, Heart’s Ease, I carry you in my heart.
    With my greatest affection,
    Rebecca Honegger

    PS: my sisters and I started going to Heart’ Ease even when it was just a little spot on the main road near the Main Street Grill. It was a joy to watch the business grow and move to the beautiful house on Burton St. It was such a surprise when we came to visit and found beautiful house filled with treasures and the garden beginning to grow. I watched the owner be recognized nationwide in a magazine and met her several times over the years; wishing her well.

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