Saturday, August 27, 2011

Return to Harry Carey Ranch

A few years ago I visited the Harry Carey Ranch (officially now called the Tesoro Adobe Historical Park) and wrote a blog post about it. I revisited the site this morning with some other members of the Santa Clarita Valley Photographer's Club, and what a treat it was. Jared Didier, a Recreation Services Supervisor with the County, offered to open up the home to us so we could take interior photos. While we wandred around the house, Jared (seen in the ranch office below) talked about the history of the ranch and the current status of the house. His enthusiasm about the ranch is infectious. It is so gratifying to see someone so interested and passionate about the history of this beloved site - a site that has been overlooked by so many people.

I was very encouraged to hear that there are now efforts (and it sounds like money) to make the house's furnishings more historically correct. Jared feels strongly that the house should be furnished in the spirit of the 1920s and 30s when Harry Carey built the house and lived there. Apparently some people are of the opinion that the house should be furnished more in the spirit of the family that lived there later in the 1960s and 70s (the family that owned the Farmer John Meat company). Obviously, I strongly agree with Jared and most of the other members of the club agreed. Nothing against the Farmer John company - I eat Dodger dogs all the time - but I tend to think that most people that visit the ranch are more interested in film history and not the history of the Farmer John family.

What's cool is that they are open to taking contributions of furnishings, decorations, and other items. I offered to donate some pulp Westerns from the 1930s, and we even talked about putting up a display. What would be very cool is to find a particular story in a pulp (I'm thinking maybe a WESTERN STORY) that was later adapted to a movie in which Harry Carey or his son starred. If any of you know of any in particular, let me know.

Anyway, here's some more photos. Info about visiting the ranch is at the bottom of the post.

Living room

Back of radio

Detail in door


Paw prints in kitchen tile; from wild animals


Mural in Bedroom

Looking down at the stable

Another view from wagons' resting place

If you're interested in visiting the ranch, go to the Tesoro Adobe web page on the County of Los Angeles' Parks and Recreation web site.

All photographs copyright 2011 by Laurie Powers. Please do not use without my persmission.

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Deka Black said...

Beautiful! I mean, really beautiful. The murals, and the kitchen. the kitchen is gorgeous!

Ron Scheer said...

Thanks for the pics. It must have been an especially pleasant place to live in the 20s and 30s. Smiled when I saw the manure spreader in the last photo. Would there have been fields nearby for the fertilizer from the stables?

Charles Gramlich said...

Lovely. I've been thinking about writing a story involving a ranch like this. Good research for me.

Oscar said...

Nice pics! The radio looks like one in my brother-in-law's old house, a Philco. How many acres make up the ranch?

Barry Traylor said...

I am posting this from a public computer at our local library as we have no power in our neighborhood since Sunday morning. As a fan of Harry Carey and as I have never heard of Farmer John it would be neat to have the home furnished the way it was when Carey lived there.
Actually it felt like the 19th century last night as no one had electricity. Just candles and a couple of antique oil lamps we keep for just this sort of thing.

Laurie Powers said...

There is plenty of information online about the ranch; you should google either "Harry Carey Ranch" or "Tesoro Adobe" which is what the ranch is officially called now. One site says that the ranch began with 500 acres in the mid-teens and grew to 3000 acres. I don't know how many acres it is now. Apparently there are a lot of photos online at the Library of Congress too.

Barry, I hope you get your power back soon!