This is a work in progress and some of the information may be inaccurate. Please send us any corrections or additions by visiting the “Contact” page on this web site. Thank you.
Frogwood is Located in Pomo Territory
We humbly recognize that the lands we use and protect have been stewarded by Native peoples for millennia and were taken from the Pomo peoples without their consent. We mourn the atrocities committed upon Indigenous people and the lands they hold sacred and recognize that injustices continue to this day. We strive to achieve our goals and practice conservation in ways that honor past stewards, recognize that we are on Pomo land and work toward a better future for all community members.
Bear Wallow Resort
In the 1960’s and early 1970’s, a man named Dino Carpenter owned 900 acres along Mountain View Road, which included the 40 acres that is now Frogwood and additional huge tracts of the surrounding mountainside and canyon land. In 1965, Dino built and started Bear Wallow Resort, catering mostly to gay men from San Francisco. He constructed the spectacular three-story Lodge building, the swimming pool, and seven cabins, where mostly weekend visitors would come up from the Bay Area, rent a cabin, and party or relax at Bear Wallow.
“The Bear Wallow” (a small pond at the top of the property) fills up each winter and is home to a variety of aquatic organisms. Bear Wallow Resort and Bear Wallow Creek at the bottom of the canyon were both named after this small pond and wetland at the top of the property.
Dino apparently liked to play bridge in the main lodge, and at least one wedding was held there (probably many).
In September of 1971, Dino invited the (roughly 30) members of a small counter-culture commune called Compost College to move onto his land. They occupied the land just to the east of Frogwood for almost one year (September 1971- Fall 1972). Richard B. Seymour was a founder and resident of the commune, and he tells about its history in his book: Compost College: Life on a Counter-Culture Commune (Walnut Creek, CA: Devil Mountain Books, 1997. 167 pp. $15.95)
Bonard Wilson was a main founder of Compost College, and his vision was gathering together a group of educators and students into what he called an experimental, coeducational, student-centered college. Life at Compost College is perhaps better described on the back of Seymour’s book, which says the members, a motley bunch of college students, teachers, administrators, and drifters, dreamed about a better way of life. Their experience on the road to community, living through hazardous times under primitive conditions, was painful but filled with moments of joy and beauty.
A man named Rainbow, who still lives in the Anderson Valley, was a member of a band that played for the Compost College folks in their earliest days, and he was the one who came up with the name Compost College. He recounted that residents lived in tepees and “plastic wickiups” (see historical storytelling Voices of the Valley book #4). Seymour describes one of the shelters as built of cardboard, sticks, and polyethelene plastic, with a home made wood stove.
In the fall of 1972 Compost College basically dissolved when most members moved on. Some Composters remained and began renting from Dino, living on various parts of the land, including Rainbow, who apparently built a cabin along Honey Creek, which runs into Bear Wallow Creek at Mountain View Road, just down the road from Frogwood.
By 1976 Dino decided to get out of the Resort business and sell Bear Wallow.
Bear Wallow Bar & Grill/Resort
Bear Wallow was sold to Bob and Roxanne Hedges in 1976. They ran the place as sort of road house bar and grill with cottage rentals. Some elder locals who were around in the late seventies and eighties remember going to Bear Wallow on a Friday or Saturday night specifically for steak dinners.
This picture of the Bear Bar was taken in the 1970s or 1980s:
Here is an entry from a travel guide: “Bear Wallow Resort (707-895-3335) is four miles west of town on Mountain View Road with one and two-bedroom cabins set in the redwoods. Prices are moderate, including the cost of meals served in the Dinner House restaurant ($ to $$). The restaurant is closed during winter months.”
Bob and Rox wrote about their experience at Bear Wallow: “As sole proprietors, we were responsible for all of the food and beverage service, maintenance on the lodge and all of the cottages, and their utilities. We did it all… In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, the lodge (the “Bear Bar”) had lounge areas and a pool table.
Bruce Anderson wrote: “…Bob and Roxanne Hedges turned it into a getaway destination for urbs and a night spot complete with a bar upstairs in the main building over the restaurant for the rest of us…”
One former visitor to Bear Wallow recalled her experience fondly: ”We visited the resort at least four to five times a year from 1980-1987. A lot of wonderful times were spent in the cabins, and exploring the forty acres surrounding them. We could get away from telephones, TV’s and spend time with the ones you loved without interruption. There was a very nice couple who owned and ran the resort, but I can’t remember their names.
The food they served at the lodge was incredible! The menu constantly changed but guests were always offered a choice of beef, poultry, fish, or a pasta dish. I explicitly remember the chicken breast entrée, for one thing it was absolutely divine! The chicken breast was stuffed with a combination of Monterey Jack and spinach, smothered with more Monterey Jack and Mushrooms. I have eaten a lot of food in my life, so the memory should wane with time, but never does.
All the cabins had names the Mountain Air, Eagles Nest… The pool was sparkling! There was nothing better than spending the day by the pool in the mid of summer reading a book, surrounded by all those beautiful redwoods. We always hated to leave and longingly looked forward to returning.
I remember the bar upstairs, there was also a pool table. There were 7 cabins ranging in size. It didn’t matter what cabin you stayed in they were all great, my personal favorite was called “Eagle’s Nest” because of it’s location. They always had bottle of chardonnay chilled in ice and a bottle of cabernet sitting on the table as you first entered the cabin for your enjoyment. Each cabin had it’s own refrigerator and they included a basket full of snacks and goodies in case someone got the late night munchies.
All guests paid in advance by check, the owners boasted once during a conversation at the bar that they had never had a cancellation. I remember that I always had to make reservations way in advance because to my dismay, if I forgot, they would be booked. I lived in Marin at the time, and it was such a lovely drive to Booneville plus a great escape. I’ve obviously never forgotten the wonderful times spent there.” (Thanks to J.J. for these memories!)
**What do YOU remember about Bear Wallow? We are trying to expand and correct this history! Please contribute if you have any tidbits for our files… To send an e-mail to the Frogwood Historical Project about your memories or testimonials, please see the “Contact” page on this web site.
Bob and Rox Hedges ran Bear Wallow from 1976-1991.
In 1991, Bob and Rox signed a lease agreement (with an option to buy) with the founders of the Quest School. The school closed in 1997 (and the lessors were never able to exercise their option to buy).
The Quest School operated on the land for about 6-7 years (1991-97). One announcement from late 1991: “Quest in Boonville Moving to New Facilities… Robin Harris, Co-Director of Quest in Boonville, California reports they are moving to new facilities eight miles away and the new facilities are an improvement over what the school has been using. The mailing address and phone number will stay the same. The School is limiting its enrollment to 16 boys, ages 6 to 18, and as of late July, still had a few open spaces.”
The tiny private first through twelfth grade school was reportedly co-ed for 2 years then was boys-only for three years, and then it went back to co-ed one year before closing. Local journalist, Bruce Anderson, remembered Quest as “a boarding school for wacky rich kids…” The Quest school was owned and operated by a couple named Robin & Donna Harris (who apparently lived in the cabin now called Venus), and their daughter and son-in law were teachers, administrators, and maintenance custodians, etc. at the school, who lived in the cottage now called Spiral).
The website “struggling teens.com” reviewed the school in 1993 and posted the following: “QUEST 707-895-2613 Boonville, California 95415. Co-Director: Mr. Robin C. Harris. Quest is a nonsectarian school for 16 boys, ages 6 to 18, focusing on those students whose needs “fall between the extremes of the College Preparatory school and the Residential Treatment program.” They prefer to work with “families in which the student is willing to make a commitment to growth and change.”
The Harris family and the students and staff kept horses, goats, pigs as part of the Quest School program. It was like a “new age ranch,” a former student recalled. They had a “meditation closet” (upstairs in the studio apartment of the Lodge, which was a study at the time). This included a device made from copper wire in a pyramid shape with a dangling quartz crystal in the center. An electric current was sent through the copper wires when a switch was turned on. (The switch is still there today, but is not connected to anything.) The Quest School students occasionally sat under the pyramid and the school staff member would hit the switch to align the students’ chakras.
The same former Quest School student also described the time a native American healer came and built a traditional sweat lodge on the flat ground by what we now call Monk Spring (on the East side of the property above the driveway) had traditional native sweat lodge ceremonies there.
By 1997, the Harris family closed the Quest School and moved on, returning the well-used land and buildings to Bob and Rox Hedges.
**What do YOU remember about Quest School? We are trying to update and correct this history! Please contribute if you have any tidbits for our files…To send an e-mail to the Frogwood Historical Project about your memories or testimonials, please see the “Contact” page on this web site.
The Amanae Foundation
The next occupants of Bear Wallow (Frogwood) were a couple of women who started the Amanae Foundation. They wanted to run a center to teach their special bodywork techniques and other trainings. Founded by Australian native, Christine Day, and carried-on by Pat Burdy, Amanae™ is hands-on, emotional release, bodywork which opens “doorways” that have been closed by deeply held fear, anger and trauma. Amanae is a journey that takes us back to remembrance and direct experience of the self.
According to one description, “Amanae Foundation is a Metaphysical foundation offering training in Transformative Bodywork, and specializes in lectures, events relating to any area of personal growth, expanding consciousness, offers classes.” The techniques were said to have been channelled by Christine. Pat apparently met Christine Day in Mount Shasta where Pat experienced her first Amanae session. Within the first 30 seconds of being on the table and feeling the power of this extraordinary work, Pat knew her life was forever changed. Pat and Christine worked together doing workshops. As the work developed they formed a partnership and together founded a school to teach others the Amanae system.
“Amanae is about removing barriers from our cellular body and receiving our light and remembering who we really are. We are already enlightened, it’s only about remembering and embodying this into our cells. There are doorways throughout the body that when opened allow us to access our own light. Once we can access our own light, healing takes place within. Amanae works very much with the heart. There are many barriers in our hearts and while there are barriers here one cannot receive one’s own light or give out in a true form. “This work returns us to our natural state as free will beings.”
Christine and Pat lived on the Frogwood Lodge land from mid to late 1998 until 2001.
**What do YOU remember about Amanae Foundation? We are trying to update and correct this history! Please contribute if you have any tidbits for our files… To send an e-mail to the Frogwood Historical Project about your memories or testimonials, please see the “Contact” page on this web site.
Frogwood Lodge Retreat Center
By 2001, retreat centers were in high demand in California, and several interested parties looked at the property with hopes of finding the right place to build their dream retreat, educational center, or healing center, etc.
On March 16, 2002 the stage was set for what is now Frogwood Lodge Retreat Center, when the Frogwood group paid their first visit to Bear Wallow (and noticed several beautiful frogs during our walk around the property).
Clearly the site was a “diamond in the rough”, and the unique (grandfathered) commercial use permit, ten-building infrastructure, excellent privacy, gushing spring water, and healthy redwood/fir/madrone forest made the place a prized jewel, despite its challenges.
We have spent more than a decade improving the buildings and grounds to make Frogwood more usable and more comfortable, while making the buildings more weather-proof and well-maintained, among many other infrastructure improvements. The retreat center focus was on renting the facility to groups of up to 60 people (usually 20-40), and we also rented single cabins to individuals, couples, families, small groups, etc.
The retreat center project developed a focus on stewardship of the land, facilities rental, healing work, creative work, and activism. A strong community of stewards and visionaries evolved around the project, as we built a successful business and contributed to the Anderson Valley and to the world with high-powered galactivism.
In the early 2000s, Frogwood was the home to many legendary psychedelic and healing-focused gatherings with many psychedelic leaders and legends presenting and hanging out in the forest…
**What do YOU remember about Bear Wallow, Quest, Amanae, or Frogwood? We are trying to update and correct this history! Please contribute if you have any stories for our files. To send an e-mail to the Frogwood Historical Project about your memories or testimonials, please see the “Contact” page on this web site.
The legacy of this very special place in Anderson Valley history continues…
Frogwood Lodge & Residential Community
In recent years, Frogwood Lodge Retreat Center was closed to make way for a residential housing community of friends and families living in the cabins as rentals, with stable caretakers and a thriving culinary mushroom business run by several residents.
Bear Wallow Resort Lodge Lounge in the 1980s
Address: 22201 Mountain View Rd. (mail: P.O. Box 12) Boonville, CA 95415