Dorland Mountain Arts Colony Destroyed by California Wildfire

by Staff

Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, located at the foothills of Palomar Mountain in Southern California, was destroyed by a wildfire on May 2, 2004. All of the buildings on the 300-acre nature preserve were reduced to ash and rubble. The five artists in residence at the time were evacuated safely, but a large number of antiques were lost. The directors of the retreat have canceled all residencies and remain uncertain whether Dorland will be rebuilt.

The colony was founded by Ellen Dorland in 1979 and has served as a quiet retreat for writers such as Alice Sebold, author of the novel The Lovely Bones (Little, Brown, 2002), and poet Penelope Moffet, who wrote about her experiences at Dorland in the January/February 1990 issue of Poets and Writers Magazine (“Richness and Drought at Dorland Mountain Arts Colony”).

For more information, visit the Dorland Web site at