• History


The Cowper Inn is composed of two historic turn-of-the-century Palo Alto houses: one built in the Victorian style, 1893, and the other Craftsman, 1896 which was built by the town coal merchant. There are two carports in the back of the houses which once were old stables and carriage stalls. Dr. Effie York, who owned the corner house from 1911 until 1937, was Palo Alto's first osteopath. She conducted her practice from her home until her retirement in 1937. During the 1920s and 1930s, she used the second house as a club for Filipino Students attending Stanford University.

The next owner, Mrs. Elise Bailey Stone, changed the corner house to include apartments. She first lived in one of the apartments and later in the main house until she moved to a nursing home in 1957.

There were several owners of the properties from 1958 until 1986 when they were purchased by Peggy and John Woodworth. At that time, Peggy who had just retired as a teacher, found these beautiful properties and fulfilled her passion of owning and running a Bed and Breakfast. Thus, these properties began their new lives as Cowper Inn, a unique Palo Alto styled Bed and Breakfast. Throughout the next 21 years, Peggy and John put their hearts and souls into running it and making it the renowned B & B, The Only True B & B in Palo Alto! It has been accommodating travelers from all over the world.

After Peggy and John decided to retire in May 2007, a partnership called the Cowperwell, LLc was fortunate to continue this legacy. Cowper well LLC is a partnership among 4 individuals who are dedicated to excellence with the desire to keep the historic cultural heritage and landmark of the Cowper Inn. Cowperwell's ultimate goal is to provide our guests a very comfortable and truly enjoyable traveling experience.