Page 40 - SLO Visitors Guide Summer 2024
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40 SUMMER 2024
Pismo Beach, Shell Beach & Oceano
Pismo Beach • 500 Cypress, Ste. 5 • (805) 773-9424
solvang • 1634 Copenhagen • (805) 693-8337
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The Chapman Estate—A gift to the Central Coast
Touring the grounds and gar-
dens of the Chapman Estate
in Shell Beach is an opportunity
to enjoy an exquisite gift to the
Central Coast. It all started in 1929
when Arthur and Celia Rogers pur-
chased land and started building.
The next owner, Clifford Chapman,
bequeathed the estate to the City
of Pismo Beach in 2013. Clifford
directed that the estate be open to
the public, designated non-profit
organizations, and neighborhood
and private events.
Walking around the grounds
overlooking the Pacific Ocean is an
opportunity to spend quiet time by
the koi pond, examine the historic
A lighthouse,
windmill, koi pond,
and acres of gardens
windmill and lighthouse, and ex-
perience the gardens in full bloom.
The Begonia Building, dedicated to
awes ev-
eryone who
and Celia Rogers
purchased three
lots in 1929. In 1930 they
completed the English Tudor man-
sion, romantically named Artede,
combining Arthur and Celia's
nickname, Tede. Over time, they
acquired more adjoining land, in-
cluding the Gull Cottage, and built
the windmill and lighthouse.
After acquiring the estate in
1962, Clifford Chapman and Don
Shidler, partners for nearly 50 years,
created a hub for local and world-
wide artists, musicians, and writers.
It became a hotspot for fundraising
events and neighborhood celebra-
tions. The couple hosted annual
fundraisers for Opera SLO, SLO
Symphony, and CAPSLO’s "After-
noon of Epicurean Delights." They
also hosted weddings and gather-
ings for family and friends.
Arthur Rogers added the wind-
mill in 1934 to house pumps for the
swimming pool. One pump added
seawater to the pool, the second
warmed the water through an early
version of solar heating; terra-cotta
tiles covered with glass, then re-
turned heated water to the pool.
The windmill is an iconic
feature of the estate, also known lo-
cally as the Windmill House. Rog-
ers built the lighthouse in 1948 to
provide privacy from a neighbor’s
two-story house.
When Arthur died in 1960, Ce-
lia spent her last years at the estate.
It had fallen into neglect and her
heirs could not maintain it. Born
and raised in Guadalupe, Chapman
knew the estate from his early trav-
els with his father and purchased it
at auction for $62,000.
Clifford and Shidler
restored the estate,
including rebuilding
the lighthouse,
adding the koi
pond, and the
Pavilion of
1000 Moons,
with parts
from China,
to discourage
hungry birds.
The Rogers
filled the mansion
with furniture collec-
tions, an extensive library, and
artwork. Chapman paid extra for
the collections, which are still in
the home, along with the Chapman
and Shidler collections.
Tours and events
Open Gates tours of the
grounds and gardens are Tuesdays
and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 2
p.m. and Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m.,
through October. Admission is $5.
Docent tours are an additional $5.
Call Pismo Beach Conference
and Visitors Bureau, (805) 773-
7034 for updates about tours of the
mansion’s interior.
The “Swingin’ by the Sea” fund-
raiser is September 21 at the estate
from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Ticket sales
start August 1 through the website.
Get yours early!
The estate is located at 1243 Ocean
Boulevard, Shell Beach, and is man-
aged and maintained by the Chap-
man Estate Foundation. For more
information visit
—Jackie Iddings
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