Posted: Jun 17, 2010 7:20 PM by Jeanette Trompeter
Updated: Feb 23, 2012 12:55 PM
In the quaint little beach community of Cayucos, there is a landmark that stands as a monument to the roots of this town. And the man who put this place on the map. James Cass is considered the founder of the Cayucos.
"He built the pier, built a warehouse, had a dairy, shipped butter to San Francisco and shipped lumber down to Cayucos and was responsible for a lot of the development of the town. He built the first story and the church and the school." says Grace Lorenzen, co-owner of the Cass House restaurant.
Captain Cass' house was not only the biggest on the block, it was the only one. But long after his family sold it, it became more of an eyesore than an attraction.
After standing as a simply a reminder of days gone by, Gary and Nancy Bagnall bought the place and began a 15-year labor of love. "I mean I really think if Gary and Nancy hadn't bought the house when they did, somebody would have just bought the property and torn the house down and used it for commercial use." says Lorenzen.
Instead the place got a new foundation, new roof, new garden, new paint, new life, but there there's still a lot of old within these walls. The footprint of the house has not chanced, the floors are orginal Douglas Fir. Windows, shutters and accents all over the place are original. It all helps make you feel right at home when you pay a visit today.
Lorenzen and her husband Jenson now run a restaurant and bed and breakfast at the restored Cass House. "Great great grandchildren of Captain Cass will come in and tell me stories." she says.
They menu changes depending on what they can get from the garden out back and nearby farmers. Locals rave about the food, and the fact your meal comes with a connection to the past, and an appreciation of what was saved from the wrecking ball.
As for rumors Old Man Cass still wanders these halls now and then....Lorenzen says she hasn't seen any ghosts personally. "I like to say if James Cass is still around, he's really happy." And you likely will be too, when you pay a visit to this little gem, right in our own backyard
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