The History of Healdsburg and the Camellia Inn
The Camellia Inn is part of the history of Healdsburg, California. Lucy Lewand is proud to be part of the longest family-owned and operated Inn in the Healdsburg, striving along with her innkeepers, to combine modern business innovations with the charm and hospitality that made her parents so popular as innkeepers years before.
Built in 1871
The building that is now the Camellia Inn played a role in the history of Healdsburg. Contractor, William H. Middleton built the Inn as a home for pioneer Ransome Powell in 1871. Powell, the son of a Tennessee farmer, was a tailor before fighting in the Mexican War. He came to California in 1849 with the Gold Rush. Failing to find gold, he began to earn a living by hauling freight. Settling in Healdsburg in 1856, he began several ventures, but it was in real estate that he made his fortune.
History of Healdsburg: the 1st Healdsburg Hospital
In 1892, Powell built a new home and sold the North Street residence to Dr. J. W. Seawell in 1908. Dr. Seawell established the first Healdsburg hospital in the east wing of his home. It was a five-room sanitarium, called Healdsburg General; a doctor’s visit cost $2.00. Dr. Seawell and his partner, Dr. Frank E. Sohler, were hard-working physicians who insisted on the best equipment and the latest medical technology for their north county hospital. Learn more about J. Walter Seawell, M.D., a Healdsbburg Legend on a page we’ve dedicated to teaching others about his legacy.
The Seawell Family
The hospital eventually expanded and moved to a new location. The Seawell family retained ownership of the home until 1969. Mrs. Hooper, the new owner, and her twin daughters, kept the gold lettering “Dr. J. Walter Seawell,” on the transom window until 1975.
Ray & Delmas Lewand
Ray and Delmas (Del) Lewand purchased the home in 1981. Looking for a small town atmosphere, the Lewands moved from Southern California and opened the Camellia Inn as one of the first licensed bed and breakfast Inn in the area. Daughter Lucy joined them in running the Inn after completing her Masters in Business Administration from University of California at Los Angeles. Ray and Del were involved in the daily running of the Inn until Del’s passing in 2006. Lucy and her partner Archie took over from Ray and in 2021 Lucy sold the Inn to the Wilson family.
Sip & Stay, The Wilson Way…
The Ken and Diane Wilson own 11 local wineries and numerous local ranches. They purchased the Camellia in May of 2021. Ken and Diane have a passion for hospitality and started their hospitality portfolio with the Calderwood Inn and the Grape Leaf Inn, two boutique Victorian properties also in downtown Healdsburg. They are looking forward to hosting you at this beautiful historic inn.