AKA: Pierpont Inn, Ventura, CA

Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Hunt and Burns, Architects (firm); Silas Reese Burns Jr. (architect); Sumner P. Hunt (architect)

Dates: constructed 1910

550 Sanjon Road
Ventura, CA 93001


This inn overlooking the Pacific Ocean and US Highway 101 running through Ventura, CA, was opened by founder Josephine Pierpont in 1910.

Building History

Initially known as the "Wayside Inn," Josephine Carpenter Pierpont (born 01/06/1860 in IL-d. 11/27/1942 in Ventura County, CA) purchased the bluff on which it sat in 1908. She commissioned the Los Angeles architectural duo of Hunt and Burns to complete the design for the original section, completed in 09/1910.

Josephine Carpenter married physician Ernest Pierpont (born 10/1854 in Fairmont, WV-d. 08/26/1905 in Ventura County, CA) in Englewood, IL, on 06/10/1884, he was 29, she 24. (See Ancestry.com, Source Information Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Marriages Index, 1871-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011, 11/18/2022.) They relocated to Ventura County, IL, c. 1889. In 1900, she and Ernest resided in Ojai, CA, where they raised their two sons Philip (born c. 03/1887 in IL) and Austen (born 03/25/1891 in CA-d. 02/18/1975 in Ventura County, CA). At this time, the Pierponts also had two boarders--Jospehine Bullard (born c. 09/1880 in CA) and H.A. Van Landringham (born c. 10/1872 in MS)--as well as a staff of three servants: Har Linn (born c. 08/1866 in China), W.L. Ferguson (born c. 10/1866 in TN) and John Murray (born c. 11/1863 in Ireland).(See Ancestry.com, Source Citation Year: 1900; Census Place: Ojai, Ventura, California; Roll: 116; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0164; FHL microfilm: 1240116, accessed 11/18/2022.) In many ways, having to look after children, boarders and an household staff in 1900 likely prepared Pierpont for the operation of hotel.

Ernest died in 1905 and Josephine remarried in 1907 to a book publisher Frederick Burrill Ginn (born 02/1830 in Orland, ME-d. 12/05/1907 in Ojai, CA) (See Ancestry.com, ) Ginn's wife Mary Lucy Sheffield (born c. 04/1850 in MA) had passed away in 1902. Ginn may have had some wealth, which was soon passed on to Josephine, as he died just five months after their wedding at the age of 77.

With this money and her experience running a household, Josephine embarked on a career as an innkeeper. She bought a land parcel overlooking the Pacific Ocean and nearby to a main roadway through Ventura where she established what was first called the "Wayside Inn." This name was changed subsequently to the eponymous "Pierpont Inn."


Numerous additional wings have been added to the Pierpont Inn over time.

Two Tudor Style cottages were built in 1925 by Austen Pierpont.

PCAD id: 24545