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Neighbor revealed as buyer of Valley of the Moon Camp

  • 4/4/2012: A1:
    PC: The Gable Cabin at the Valley of the Moon Camp above Glen Ellen. Clark Gable stayed in the cabin when visiting the property

The site of the Valley of the Moon Camp near Glen Ellen was sold to a next-door neighbor and vintner who said Thursday that he and his wife wanted the iconic property for privacy reasons and as a gathering place for family.

The announcement ends speculation over who purchased the 23-acre parcel on Morningside Mountain Drive that borders Jack London State Park.

The site was a cherished retreat for youth groups and other organizations for at least 40 years, and prior to that, for Hollywood luminaries such as Clark Gable.

Valley Of The Moon Camp

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Bill Brinton, who owns Charles Creek Vineyard in Glen Ellen along with his wife, Gerry, confirmed Thursday that the couple bought the property from the Presbytery of San Francisco.

The deal, quietly consummated last spring, became public after the couple assumed ownership of the property Jan. 1. Brinton would not say how much the couple paid for the property, but county transfer tax on the transaction indicates the sales amount was $1.65 million.

The asking price for the property was $1.695 million.

Bill Brinton, 66, said he and his wife have owned a second home adjacent to the camp since 1984 and shared an easement affording access to the parcel.

He cited camp traffic and noise as reasons why the couple wanted to buy the property.

"I know everyone on the road is a little happier now that the camp is not up there," Brinton said.

He said he and his wife are not planning to put vineyards on the property. That will come as a relief to environmentalists, who feared new development would damage the site, which has mature stands of trees, streams and wildlife, including the likely presence of spotted owls.


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