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The Tularcitos Rancho,
granted in the 1840's, was officially surveyed in 1860 and included
of Laguna Conejo pond, now just west of the Hastings Reserve. Charles
and James Finch ranched the area in 1861. John Jacob Scott homesteaded
along Big Creek, and in 1863 built a pole barn with native materials.
This barn is among the oldest barns in Monterey County. No sawmill
available at the time of construction. Some planks in the barn were formed
by woodcutters who would drill a row of holes in an oak log they had
with axes. They then packed the holes with black powder and blew planks
from the sides of the logs. The Scott Barn was authentically restored
in 1987. Homesteads by Charles Robertson (1884) and Henry Arnold (1900)
saw families move in. The Arnold family settled high above the county
road on a spring site. Scott sold his land to Burritt Cahoon who built
the ranch house on the lowlands along Big Creek in 1899; it is still
use. Ranching, wood cutting and growing hay kept them busy.
Ranching in the area
was precarious. In 1889, a Christmas flood wiped out the James family's
barns, dairy buildings and orchard along Finch Creek near the present
Warner horse ranch, just downstream of Finch Creek and the Carmel Valley
Road at the base of Haystack Hill. Only an almond tree marks the old
A few years earlier, in 1877, a prolonged drought wiped out about 400
head of cattle between the Cahoons, the Finches and other homesteaders.
Burritt Cahoon later bought out his brother Charles, and 5 other homesteads
to form a working cattle ranch. Cahoon and his sons moved away while
served as a Deputy County Assessor to supplement the sporadic income
from ranching. Cattle ranches supported fewer and fewer cattle as the
changed. L.S. Cahoon's ranch of about 2500 acres kept about 330 cattle
in 1920. By 1943, that acreage was sustaining only 250 cattle with
50 calves being raised each year. Mr. Cahoon remembers that Finch Creek,
the biggest creek on Hastings which usually flows all year, dried up
1896, again in about 1930 and we have seen it dry again in 1989. In 1989,
the reliable spring at the Arnold homestead went dry for the first
in recorded history.
Wisteria shades the east and south sides of the Ranch House's large screen porch. The porch offers a place to serve buffet meal, gather a class out of the rain, show slides if it is not to cold or windy, and for students to spread out cots or sleeping pads for the night.
Visitors are asked to bring their own bedding. Two twin beds are found in 3 bedrooms and one bedroom has a double bed. Space in floors can be used for extra sleeping bags, etc.
A modest kitchen in the Ranch House is set up for 8; with one refrigerator. Another refrigerator on the entry porch can be used.
One living room and one dining room join the kitchen.
The ranch house has two bathrooms, each with a shower.