Although it has been added onto several times, the original structure that presently houses The Brambles restaurant on Burton Drive was a three-bedroom house built by George W. Proctor around 1874. Proctor was a blacksmith who came to California from New England in 1858. He moved to Cambria in 1861 and, with his partner George Davis, bought 31.5 acres from Samuel Pollard which included all of what is today Cambria’s east village. Proctor also built the three-story hotel at the corner of Bridge and Main Streets which burned down in the great fire of 1889.
Beginning in 1877, the property was sold five times until, in 1895, it was purchased by Josie (Cantua) and Rafael Mora. Mora was born in the Watsonville area and was an orphan by the time he was twelve when he went to live with his half sister in San Simeon. Her husband, Anastacio Asebez, had a slaughter house and butcher shop there and that is where Rafael learned the trade. Around the same time he bought the house, he bought a lot on the corner of Bridge Street and Proctor Lane, where Pacific Bell is now, and opened a butcher shop with his partner, Alvin Hitchcock.
The Moras lived in the house with their five sons and two daughters until 1908. At that time they moved to a ranch on Santa Rosa Creek where Mora built a slaughter house to supply his butcher shop. In 1915, the Moras moved back into the house which had been empty and the butcher shop was sold to his nephew, Edward Asabez. Asabez bought out Hitchcock and took a new partner, Joaquin “Jack” Soto, who became the sole owner in 1917 starting a Cambria tradition.
In 1916, Mora sold the property to Mr. Yount who then sold it to Dr. Frank Lowell who lived in the house with his wife and operated a medical practice in it. In the mid 1930s, Lowell sold to Dr. Sherman who also lived in the house and ran his medical practice from it.
About 1940, the house was purchased by pharmacist William Gabriel and his wife, Catherine. Two years later they moved to Barstow and rented the house to Dr. Heimowitz, an osteopath. In 1945, Matthew “Buster” Langan and his wife, Lillian, purchased the house. Buster ran a garage on the northeast corner of Bridge and Main Streets, where Wildwood is today, until about 1950. Lillian died in 1952 and, in 1955, Buster sold the house to Norma and Holland Vaughn. The Vaughns lived in the house and also operated a small restaurant in the parlor called “The Brambles” after the brambles growing along Santa Rosa Creek in their yard.
Holland died and Norma sold the restaurant to Bryan and Sylvia Hume in 1962. The Humes turned The Brambles into a dinner house with a widespread reputation. In 1976, Ansun Enterprises, a partnership of eight individuals, bought the property leasing it back to the Humes. Then, in 1982, Nick and Debbie Kaperonis bought the business from the Humes and assumed the lease. Early in 2008 the Kaperonis family was unable to negotiate a satisfactory lease with Ansun so the restaurant closed. Nick Kaperonis died in early 2007. In 2009, The Brambles underwent extensive refurbishment and was re-opened by Zara Landrum under the same name. In May, 2011, the restaurant closed.