Fee's smile and generosity make her a local favorite

Published August 1993 in the Big Sur Gazette - written by Paula Walling

Whether she's handing a local the key to the Grange Hall or handing a visitor the key to one of her rooms at the Glen Oaks Motel, Doris Fee always has a smile and a friendly word.

Co-owner of the Glen Oaks Motel and a longtime Big Sur resident, Doris came to Big Sur at just about the same time Highway One was completed.

Doris' activities have changed over the years, but never her love for Big Sur. In earlier days, you might have found her horseback riding or playing the cello (she played with the Monterey County Symphony for seven years). She has always loved gardening, and takes great pride in the grounds at the Glen Oaks Motel. She has planted a wide variety of flowers and trees there over the years, and it is said that her persimmons in November may be the best on the coast.

A graduate of Stanford, Doris and her father owned Ripplewood before building the Glen Oaks Motel in 1955. She recalls that they were "not heavily impacted by the depression" because life here was so uncomplicated by the outside world.

Doris donated the land to build the Grange Hall, which was built in 1948 by the Ewoldsens, Frank and Walter Trotter, Billy Post and Bob McGrath.

She says the biggest change here has been the "influx of travelers," and that people are "advertising the area worldwide." As for the motel business, she likes "meeting people from other places and exchanging experiences."

Doris received the Big Sur Beautiful award from the Coast Property Owners Association. This year, her partner at the motel, Ken Wright, established the Doris Fee Music Fund at the Captain Cooper School in her honor.

Doris feels that it's a privilege to live here. The privilege for us is that she chose to settle in Big Sur.


Coast Property Owners Association, P.O. Box 59, Big Sur, CA 93920
© 2004 by Coast Property Owners Association