Land's End...the story
It is a story that really began many thousands of years ago. Kachemak Bay has been beautifully sculpted over the millennia by nature’s most gifted sculptors. The ebb and flow of powerful glacial formations and dramatic tectonic landscaping have created a true masterpiece. Shapely mountains. Intriguing depths. Curvaceous bays and coves. And jutting boldly into the heart of this natural splendor, the renowned Homer Spit. It is here at Land’s End – the very tip of the spit – the beaches are still being shaped by powerful tides…burnished by salt-kissed breezes…and bathed in the light and warmth of southern exposure.
Aerial photo of the end of Homer Spit, 1964.
The original Land’s End, circa 1960.
How it all began
The Land’s End site was first acquired by Chuck Abbot using Civil War script. And then, in 1958, Earl Hillstrand (of Deadliest Catch fame) bought the property and built the first rendition of Land’s End Resort, primarily for summer visitors. The original bunkhouse, hauled from the Mt. Ohlson Nike Missile site, provided family style accommodations. In 1960, the drive from Anchorage took an entire day, but Alaskans and visitors from around the world felt richly rewarded for going the extra miles to experience the warm charm of Homer and the wonders of Kachemak Bay. Guests at Land’s End fell in love with the breathtaking vistas and pristine waters surrounding Homer.
After the 1964 earthquake....
The 1964 Good Friday earthquake flooded the hotel, but true to his Alaska roots and spirit, Hillstrand jacked up the structure and used gravel from the newly excavated small boat harbor to elevate the land around the hotel. And then, 24 years later, Jon and Sara Faulkner’s longtime love of Land’s End inspired their purchase of the hotel. Their vision of making Land’s End a year-round destination was soon a reality. In those early days, Pop-country star Jewell Kilcher and her father Atz, along with Alaska’s designated balladeer, Hobo Jim, were regular acts in the Wheelhouse Lounge.
Earl Hillstrand with his new sign.
Earl and wife Mary Jane around fireplace.
In 1995, inspired in part by popular demand, the Faulkners built a modern commercial kitchen and added a 225-person conference room, boosting Homer as a year-round meeting destination. Over the years, the quest to make Land’s End the most welcoming destination in Alaska has been unflagging. The hotel and its amenities have been upgraded and expanded regularly, and several subsequent hotel additions and the construction of 20 luxury waterfront Lodges have enhanced Homer’s reputation for warm hospitality and an upscale destination.
A Special Location for Alaska
Land’s End has always occupied a special location, surrounded by mountains, glaciers and marine life. But in 1960, it was Earl Hillstrands love of meeting and entertaining guests that built Land’s End. Throughout Alaska, Land’s End became known as the place where Earl’s humor and smile, his crackling fireplace and the beauty of Kachemak Bay greeted guests at the door! Today, we believe in building things of lasting value--and that a smile and a warm welcome are gifts that can change a person’s day--and create lifelong memories.
Everyone loved this old bar.