Hazel Dennen; Turned Farmhouse Into Inn

Hazel Ball Dennen, who with her husband converted an abandoned 1877 farmhouse into Heritage House, one of the finest inns on the Pacific Coast, is dead.

Mrs. Dennen was 71 and died at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco on May 6, after surgery to correct a heart ailment.

A native of Coronado, she married Lauren (Don) Dennen in 1945, and four years later they chanced on an abandoned farmhouse near Mendocino on the Little River.

While he painted and repaired, she cooked. With a maid who predicted that the venture would quickly fail, the Dennens began to welcome their first guests.

Today, reservations are encouraged a full year ahead of a planned visit, and Heritage House has been host to Rockefellers, Gettys and young newlyweds who return each year to celebrate their anniversaries.

Heritage House consists of a series of cottages facing the sea and the adjacent woods. The cottages can accommodate more than 200 guests.

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