Event Types

Eugene O'Neill Foundation/ Tao House

out the Foundation

The Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House, was established in 1974 for the purposes of acquiring O’Neill’s former residence in Danville, California and establishing it as a historic monument. Since then the foundation has devoted itself to developing the site into a center that promotes the vision and legacy of American’s first great playwright, Eugene O’Neill, through numerous educational, artistic, and research programs.

History of Tao House

Compiled by Beverly Lane

When Eugene and Carlotta O’Neill lived in Danville, it was the epitome of rural California living. As O’Neill wrote in several letters “It is absolute country…without a taint of suburbia…yet only three-quarters of an hour motor ride from Frisco.” Eugene O’Neill needed a place to write which offered a quiet environment, good weather and access to doctors. While in Seattle he had received the Nobel Prize for Literature in November, 1936, and had been so lionized (and besieged by reporters) that he and Carlotta fled to the San Francisco Bay Area. Carlotta Monterey O’Neill had grown up in Oakland. They decided to move to Northern California and, after looking around the Bay Area, they settled in the bucolic San Ramon Valley.

Construction of Tao House


The O’Neills purchased 158 acres of the former Bryant Ranch in Danville, using the Nobel Prize award of $40,000. The land, house and furnishings cost around $100,000. A long driveway, fencing and a gate helped provide them with total privacy in the context of serene, natural surroundings. As a reflection of his interest in Oriental philosophy and her focus on style, they named the place “Tao House” which means in Chinese (as interpreted by the O’Neills) “the right way of life.”

the house was built using a combination of Chinese and California ranch motifs. It had heavy basalt brick walls, a roof of black colored tiles and doors which opened out to several porches and patios. Inside, the dark blue ceilings and colored mirrors provided the chic look Carlotta wanted. One small room housed a player piano, Rosie, whose music was sometimes heard in the valley below.

Their driver, bodyguard and “man of all work,” Herbert Freeman, picked up the mail, dry cleaning and groceries from town. He also retrieved the wandering Blemie on occasion from Danville. Neither O’Neill drove, so they relied on Freeman to take them to doctor appointments, Cal football games and visits to Oakland and San Francisco. A full staff at Tao House included Freeman, a cook, a gardener and three other servants.

From his study O’Neill could look west to the courtyard, barn and the oak-studded hills. Eastward walnut and fruit orchards stretched across the valley to the Mount Diablo foothills. The water of the Carquinez Strait could be seen to the north. On September 14, 1937 he wrote to Barrett H. Clark:

“We have a beautiful site in the hills of the San Ramon Valley with one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. This is the final home and harbor for me. I love California. Moreover, the climate is one I know I can work and keep healthy in. Coastal Georgia was no place for me.”



Aug 30, 2018

Student's Summer Camp Presentations

Sep 06, 2018

Presentation on Services of the The Last Mile

The Last Mile (TLM) was created to provide programs that result in successful reentry and reduce recidivism. We believe that  jobs are the key to breaking the cycle of incarceration. Our mission is to provide marketable skills that lead to employment. Our in and out program provides career training in prison with mentorship and job placement upon release.

TLM began as an intensive 6-month entrepreneurship program at San Quentin, in which men learned how to tap into their passion to create a business that includes a technology component and social cause. At Demo Day in front of 350 invited guests from the business community and fellow inmates, they pitch their ideas. Many say it’s the best day of their life.

Through the process, they learn how businesses function, how to work with a team, accept criticism, gain confidence in their ability to grasp new ideas, and pivot when they are heading down the wrong path. With the help of volunteers, guest speakers, and leaders from the business community, they are introduced to the latest technology without access to the internet or hands on experience.


 In 2014, TLM launched the first computer coding curriculum in a United States prison (Code.7370), in partnership with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and CalPIA. The men learn HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and Python. In addition to these front end skills, the curriculum will expand to include web and logo design, data visualization and UX/UI.

Since Internet access is not allowed in prison,  programs are taught without connectivity. To overcome this challenge we created a proprietary programming platform that simulates a live coding experience. Imagine, software engineers who are judged by the quality of the code they develop, not by the stigma of criminality.

It is predicted that there will be a shortfall of 1 million software engineering jobs in 2020. The TLM “returned graduates” will be positioned well to leverage this opportunity and support our mission to reduce recidivism by attaining gainful employment.

In 2016 we launched TLMWorks web development shop inside San Quentin to employ graduates as software engineers.

Sep 13, 2018
Sep 18, 2018
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Oct 16, 2018
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Nov 20, 2018
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Dec 18, 2018
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Jan 15, 2019
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Feb 19, 2019
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM