Bluebird Inn

The Bluebird Inn, located on Main Street in Cambria’s East Village, was built by George W. Lull in 1880 for his second wife, Mary Inman Lull.

Lull was a partner in the San Francisco firm of Grant and Lull. While George Grant remained in San Francisco, Lull first came to the Cambria area in 1858 at the age of 27. He built a small store near the mouth of San Simeon Creek. In 1865 he leased a small plot of land from Philip Kaitzel and erected a two-story building which later became the Music House and today is part of Fog’s End Bed and Breakfast. In the lower floor of this building Lull established the first store in the Cambria area called the Grant and Lull Store. By 1867 the store had been moved to the southeast corner of Bridge and Main Street and the first Cambria Post Office was established within it. Winfield S. Whitaker was the first postmaster but Lull was postmaster from 1872 to 1881.

Lull, Guthriel Store ca 1890

In 1889 the Grant and Lull Store was destroyed in the great fire. It was rebuilt by Lull and his new partner, Samuel Guthrie, and the name was changed to Lull, Guthrie and Co. The upper floor of the new building became the Odd Fellow’s Lodge. The store became the largest in Cambria and had in stock a general line of merchandise valued at between $l5,000 and $20,000. In addition to the ownership of the store, the firm also owned large tracts of land in San Luis Obispo County where they raised stock for the markets.

When Lull retired he built a house, which is now the center of the Bluebird Inn, for his new second wife, Mary Inman. Mary was born Mary Leah Barnhardt and was first married to Dolphin Inman in Illinois in 1854. One of Dolphin’s five brothers was Samuel Inman whose daughter, Rhoda (Mary’s niece), married Thomas Clendenin who built the first (“saltbox”) portion of the Guthrie-Bianchini House in 1870.

Bluebird Inn

After George Lull died, Mary sold the house to Mary E. Webb in 1899. She established a rooming house there and, after her death, the business was carried on by her daughter, Annie May Webb Elliott. In 1930, the property was purchased by Ed and Louise Hall who expanded the business by adding cabins behind the main house. The business was further expanded by Edward and Esther Day who bought it in 1945 and added more cabins and started calling it a motel. In 1954, John and Barbara Kosis acquired the motel and thoroughly improved it. They modernized the cabins, and added new motel rooms to the house as well as an office and a lounge. The motel was then sold to Mr. and Mrs. William Jantz who, in turn, sold it to Mary Lou Walker in 1971. After making still more improvements to the facility, it was sold to Ken and Gisela Cooper in 1988, and, in August 2015 it was again sold to the current owners, Kiran and Falguni “Fal” Patel.

In spite of this long string of owners, it is believed by many that the ghost of Mary Inman still resides at the Blue Bird Inn and is often seen roaming the facility late at night.

4 Responses to “Bluebird Inn”

  1. B&J says:

    Patti:

    Thanks for those remembrances of times gone by in Cambria.

    B&J

  2. Patti Rowe says:

    My family and I started coming to Cambria in the late 1950s and made the Bluebird our base every Christmas for a week. The Kosis family ran it then – we’d be invited to join them in the house for dinners. I played with their daughter, Molly Ann. I have some pictures of us in the cabins, which had kitchenettes and were perfect for a family to stay in. Once we decided to hike down the hill to the creek in the back of the property – little did we know it was covered with poison oak! We continued staying there until the late 1970s, when my parents bought a house in Cambria.

  3. B&J says:

    Shannon:

    Thanks for that insight. It must have been amazing to live at the Bluebird in the early eighties.

    B&J

  4. Shannon (Spoor) Roush says:

    When it was under the ownership of the Monterey Motel Brokerage which was operated by my godparents Carol and Julian Bills, they gave managerial positions to my parents Donald and Yvonne Spoor. We lived at the motel in the house and I have never loved a place so dearly or remembered one so fondly. I will admit there was a presence to be felt in that home and once a guest even asked my my mother if the beautiful older woman who had waved to her in welcome from the window above the carport as she and her husband drove in was her mother and asked to meet her and say hello. I have never seen my mother move so quickly as she ran upstairs to see who was up there (and in my bedroom!) and she found no one there! This was in the early 80’s. In the late 80’s my parent’s managed the Cambria Shores Motel on Moonstone Beach Drive and it was lovely but nothing ever compared to the Bluebird.

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