The Museum was built by Charmian London and Eliza Shepard, Jack London's step sister, after London's death in 1916. The House of Happy Walls was designed to be a museum as well as Charmian's home. She lived in the house from 1934 until 1955 (when she was not traveling abroad or staying with relatives). Today the House of Happy Walls includes displays in many rooms, with a complete set of first-edition books by Jack London, Charmian's 1901 Steinway piano, and many unique crafts and mementos Jack and Charmian collected in their travels around the world.
A new exhibit telling the story of their ill-fated Cruise of the Snark gives visitors a glimpse into the exciting adventures of Jack London.
This house is similar to the Wolf House in some ways - the Spanish-style roof tiles and walls of field stone, for example - but it is much smaller and more formal. Much of the furniture in the house was designed by the Londons and custom-built for use in Wolf House, though never used there due to the fire that destroyed Jack and Charmian's dream home just days before they were to move in.
On weekends talented Piano Club volunteers provide ambience. The music of Charmian's piano mingles with birdsong from outdoors and brings the House of Happy Walls to life. Several times a year small concerts are held upstairs in the historic building.
"...I am begging you now, with all my heart, not to let the world forget that he laid his hand upon the hills of California with the biggest writing of all his writing and imagination and wisdom...just don't let all who listen and read and run, forget Jack London's biggest dream." ~Charmian London, 1916