Sunday, May 10, 2009

Robinson Ranch

Today's photos of the Walter K. Robinson House were taken by Doug McIntosh in 1988. Doug writes, "The house was originally a one room cabin that was constructed circa 1883, by Jim Brown. Over the years there were several additions. The photos were taken the day that the developer had the structure demolished...
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"Robinson Ranch was located along the east side of the Plano Trabuco. Walter K. Robinson was born in Santa Clara in 1853. In 1883 Robinson purchase a section of railroad property and the claims of Jim Brown and Lew English. He named it 'The Mountain View Ranch.'
"Robinson married Margaret Waite of Los Angeles in 1883. They had nine children. Several of the children died before adulthood...
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"For many years, Robinson held the office of Trabuco Forest Reserve, now the Cleveland National Forest, and also filled the office of Deputy Fish and Game Commissioner of California, with headquarters in Trabuco Canyon.
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"...Walter K. Robinson died Nov. 11, 1920. He was remembered as 'one of the men who came in the Santa Ana Valley in the days when mustard, sycamores, salt grass, tule deer, elders, and cactus covered its level areas. He was honored as one who remained through days of adversity and who never desired to live elsewhere' (Register, Nov. 12, 1920:4). He was buried with his parents at the old Santa Ana Cemetery.
"The [Robinson Home's] cobble fire place and a few other architectural features were salvaged and incorporated into the home-owners association community center/swimming pool area. The color photo [above] is from the Rancho Cielo Home-owners Association web page. It shows the salvaged fireplace and the community swimming pool."
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For more information, see Cultural Resource Investigation of the Walter K. Robinson "Mountain View Ranch" Orange County, California, 1996, by Wayne Bonner, Diane Bonner, David Hocking, Douglas McIntosh and Jaqueline Des'autels.
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There's also an entry on OCThen.com about the Escape Country private recreation park that once occupied part of the Robinson property.

10 comments:

DregerClock.org said...

that is very cool that the fireplace was preserved and incorporated into the new structures. Is the fireplace in the original location of the cabin or was it somehow moved to the place where it now stands?

walterworld said...

An interesting story Chris...

I'm glad they were able to save the fireplace at least!

Take care

Anonymous said...

Wow! Walter K. Robinson was my great great grandfather. I remember my grandma talking about visiting the ranch as a kid. Thanks for the stroy.

Doug said...

The fireplace/chimney and a stone water trough were saved, however these items are not in their original locations.
Have been sorting through some old photos today and found several more images from the Robinson Ranch project. Even have a copy of the archaeological/historical report we put together for the project.

Doug said...

Noted that the photo with the bulldozer in backward!
We used to do our own darkroom work back in the 80s...pre-digital.

Douglas Miller said...

I am greatly pleased to see the Robinson Ranch house chimney and hearth in it's place at the history museum.
I visited the Robinson Ranch with my family while it was being turned into houses. And the chimney was standing out in a fiekld chained up. I thought at the time that it was a goner.
I know that fireplace well from my years of visiting the old house with my family since I was a baby. My Grandmother was Irene Robinson, sister to Anne Robinson. I have other pictures of the house from earlier years and am happy to share them with whoever is interested.
Douglas Miller
1873 South Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach 92651 949-497-4035

April Miles said...

I lived at the Robinson Ranch for a while when I was young. My grandmother and Grandfather worked there. I am trying to find out if there are any old pictures and information from back when it was a resort. My grandmother had her picture taken with John Wayne there, She accidentally charged Steve McQueen admission...I would love to find sites with info on the old ranch....if anyone knows of any

Len Malena said...

What was the reason for the fireplace move from the Robinson Ranch area to what is the now the Rancho Cielo community, where I live?

Jabacat said...

I would go to the ranch every Thanksgiving. My mother was the daughter of may waite and horace fine. Deanne hotchkiss fabro, 120 e. 67th way, long beach, ca 90805, 213 640-0154.

Jabacat said...

I would go to the ranch every Thanksgiving. My mother was the daughter of may waite and horace fine. Deanne hotchkiss fabro, 120 e. 67th way, long beach, ca 90805, 213 640-0154.