Willard Price House

The Willard Price historic Hacienda cottage sits on the corner of F Street and Cathedral Canyon.

The Hacienda Cottage

When Margie St Anthony bought her house in 1983, she discovered under the bathroom flooring a newspaper dated October 28, 1932. This is presumably one of the oldest houses on the Tour and retains the features of the original structure: the stone hearth, tiled roof, arched Windows, garden of indigenous flora, and a distinctive second-story widow's walk with gorgeous unobstructed views of the valley.

The Willard Price Hacienda Cottage, at F Street and Cathedral Canyon, was home to the Canadian-born American traveler, journalist, and author, whose works include the "Adventure" series, a collection of children's adventure novels that chronicle the exploits of budding teen zoologists Hall and Roger Hunt as they travel around the world capturing exotic and dangerous animals for their father's wildlife collection.

In 1999, professor Laurie Barber of Waikato University in Hamilton, New Zealand, suggested Price might have spied for the U.S. - something he admitted in one of the biographies he wrote in his later years. It remains unclear if he was providing information about Japanese activity on the Pacific Islands as a "patriotic American," or if he was on the military intelligence payroll.

He spent his later life as a "foreign correspondent and roving researcher" on behalf of newspapers, magazines, museums, and societies, including the National Geographic Society and the American Museum of Natural History. He visited 148 countries and circled the globe three times.

Numerous stories about desert-dweller Price appear in the pages of The Desert Sun from the 1940s until around 1973 when he and his wife moved to Leisure  World, a retirement community in Laguna Hills.

Mixed-medial artist, Margie St. Anthony, is the current owner of the home - thought to be built around the 1930s. The Willard Price historic Hacienda cottage sits on the corner of F Street and Cathedral Canyon. Owned and beautifully preserved by artist Margie St. Anthony, this gorgeous structure is surrounded by tile mosaics throughout the property, designed and created by the home's owner and artist herself.

Peter Palladino photo

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