November 3, 2014: From Paso Robles we made our way back to Coastal Route 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) and Hearst Castle. We had booked tickets for an afternoon tour of the Grand Rooms. This tour included the dining and entertaining areas of the castle. The tour was OK and the castle ostentatious (how could it not be with 165 rooms, 127 acres, and zebras?!) but the story of Hearst and his media and publishing empire was fascinating.
Equally interesting were the lesser known stories of two impressive women:
The architect for the castle was a woman by the name of Julia Morgan. She must have been a great architect as the castle withstood a major earthquake a few years ago. The epicenter of the earthquake was only three miles away yet the castle didn’t suffer any damage.
Another remarkable woman in the Hearst story was Phoebe Apperson Hearst, William Randolph Hearst’s mother. She was a philanthropist, feminist, and suffragist. An interesting fact is that she contributed to the establishment of the National Congress of Mothers (what we now know as the National Parent-Teacher Association) and, unfortunately, died a few weeks before women were given the right to vote.