Home of Mary Austin

At 235 Market St. in Independence, CA Mary Austin and her husband, Stafford Wallace Austin, built a small house at the “end of the village street.” Here, in the heart of the Owens Valley, Mary Austin wrote her best known and classic work, The Land of Little Rain. It would cement her reputation as an author.

As an early feminist, water-rights advocate, and defender of Native American and Spanish-American rights, she championed the causes that were deeply important to her. The preservation of Native American culture, women’s rights especially regarding birth control, and environmental issues, specifically the industrialization of open spaces and the Los Angeles aqueduct—a battle fought in her backyard, were all of particular concern to her.

Her works are seminal studies into the history and character of the Owens Valley and the high deserts of California. The “brown house under the willow tree” where she lived is now preserved as a California Historical Landmark.


235 W Market St, Independence, CA 93526