The House that Big Sur Built: The Meaning of Community

The House That Big Sur Built

Don Case and his family lost their beautiful hand-crafted home on Castro Ridge in the 2008 Basin Complex Fire. CPOA, with leadership from Mike Gilson, orchestrated a fund raiser for the family. CPOA then matched the funds raised providing a little over $60,000 that was placed in a fund to be drawn down on as materials were purchased. Mike Gilson, Arden Handshy and Rob Carver helped the family with the onerous permitting process. Other professionals in the community stepped up to provide the archeological documentation, structural work and more. And friends from up and down the Big Sur Coast donated their time to help build the Case Family’s new home – old fashioned barn-raising style.

The family has had its share of challenges over these last 8 years. Family member Joyce Duffy did not live to see the project finished. Don’s health has been a challenge as well. But the family stayed the course.

We have just been informed by Gabe Case, Don’s son, that the building permit, issued 8 years ago, was finaled last week.

Congratulations to the Case Family!

Written by Lisa K.


5 thoughts on “The House that Big Sur Built: The Meaning of Community

  1. What an inspiational story for the rest of the world, we should all think hard about what is essentially “The Frontier Spirit”, which does often exist the world over in remoter challenging regions, but rarely in cities or heavily populated areas. When living in the remote Highlands of Scotland it became clear to me that there that nobody could really survive without their neighbours, whereas in the city, without neighbours you would have that much more space.

  2. As an ‘outsider’ who visits Big Sur a few times a year for hiking and camping, it’s stories like these that remind me how great we can be as human beings, and to the spirit and determination of the locals who live there. And why I will always keep coming back.

    Cheers to everyone involved!

  3. Really HAPPY to hear about the,Don Case family being so well loved and supported by the Big Sur Community.

    I was pretty young (early 20s), when I landed in Big Sur back in ’74…moving there in ’76….have very fond memories of Don’s magnanimous personality greeting at the R.I. Horseshoe pitch back in the days…I cried when I heard about him losing his family home…and again reading this story…so missing the Sur Community…as soon as it’s safe…I’ll be back around….just a P.G. Gardening Gnome these days…Shoshanna 😉

  4. Hi everyone,my names Nick,while visiting my uncle Jim in big sur for 3 awsome months i had the chance to live down the ridge and meet the case family,Don,Josh,Neva,and the girls.I had a great time,they are the best of people,good people.I cant wait to visit with again,iam so happy to hear there house is growing back,it sure had alot of roots left to grow from,a good foundation of friends and family. I miss u guys,good times!!

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