NEPENTHE stands on the site of The Log House, Big Sur, 808 feet above sea level, which was built by the old “Trails Club” in 1925. In 1947 Lolly and Bill Fassett took over the property and moved in with their five children.
Out of the feeling that the site and its magnificent vistas were too vast, too wonderful to keep to themselves – “no individual can own it, it belongs to everyone,” said Lolly – grew the idea of NEPENTHE, an isle of no-care. They sought out Rowen Maiden, an architectural student of Frank Lloyd Wright, to design this timeless structure. Native materials, like redwood and adobe, were used so that the building became one with the landscape and the earth it stands on.
NEPENTHE is a word derived from the Greek, meaning “no sorrow.” It is also known as the mythical Egyptian drug that the wife of Thonis, King of Egypt, gave to Helen, daughter of Jove, to induce forgetfulness and surcease from sorrow. The word has been used in literature throughout history. Homer mentioned it in “The Odyssey,” and in “The Raven,” Poe said:
“Quaff oh quaff this kind Nepenthe and
forget the lost Lenore.”
The PHOENIX was chosen as the standard of our NEPENTHE, because of its particular significance. According to legend, the bird, with its wings of gold and jeweled plumage, returned from Arabia to the temple of Heliopolis every five hundred years, to burn itself on the altar and arise from its own ashes, more magnificent than ever, a symbol of immortality.