Sonoma Sun Event Calendar

Jack London short story read aloud Jack London State Park

Sunday June 10th - 2:00pm

On Sunday, June 10, 2-4 p.m., Jeff Falconer will read aloud from Jack London’s short story, “Told in the Drooling Ward” at Jack London Historic State Park.

The story, set in a state facility for the mentally disabled, is told in the voice of a young man who lives there: “My name’s Tom. I’m twenty-eight years old. Everybody knows me in the institution. This is an institution, you know. It belongs to the State of California and is run by politics.”

Heart-felt and perceptive, “Told in The Drooling Ward” is a fascinating snap-shot of institutional care a century ago, and is of particular interest today, since the story is based on Jack’s observations of the Sonoma State Home, now known as Sonoma Developmental Center. The institution shared a border with Jack’s Beauty Ranch during his lifetime, and shares the same border with Jack London State Park today. Its transitional status makes the Developmental Center a subject of great interest at the moment, and London’s tale, short on political correctness but long on insight, dated yet highly relevant, heartbreaking and darkly funny at the same time, is both educational and entertaining, in true Jack London fashion.

Refreshments will be served during the break. Parking fee applies. Make reservations by going to