VacationsOn Interstate 101 near Arroyo Grande on the Central California Coast is an exit for Halcyon. Look for 187B, Halcyon exit and head a short distance down the road till you pass a cemetery and see a little sign "Halcyon". You'll also notice a brightly colored building serving as the Post Office.
Halcyon Store and Post Office is the official town building which serves as post office, gift shop and meeting center. Halcyon is a community whose roots span over 100 years. Today it is comprised of a store which also serves as a meeting space, a couple farms and houses. Halcyon is a township--and it's a gathering place for those who seek enlightenment. The Temple of the People building tucked back from Halcyon Road beyond an intersection with a gas station and a cemetery has long served the community as a nondenominational place to meet.
Founded in 1903 by Dr. William H. Dower and Francia LaDue who left New York, heading west with the goal of establishing a nondenominational Temple, they purchased a three story Victorian house which was called Halcyon Hotel and Sanitarium. From around the world people came to be treated for drug addiction, tuberculosis, alcoholism and other disorders.
Dower practiced medicine using a mix of traditional methods and healing techniques which integrated natural surroundings such as the local sand dunes and beach, from which sprung another group, the Dunites, who sought the healing properties of the Central Coast and nearby sand dunes at Pismo Beach.
A healthy lifestyle close to nature with homegrown fruits and vegetables, outdoor sleeping pavilions and the native American practice of using herbs for healing were all part of the regimen of the Halcyon guests trying to re-energize and spring back to health.
As life at the Temple became so appealing that few wanted to leave, the group began purchasing land so guests could stay and make a living. Some grew foods, herbs and flowers and others took up pottery and art. The Temple now comprises approximately 95 acres with cottages, farms and groves of trees where Monarch butterflies nest annually.