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The Orcutt Ranch Horticulture Center is a historic hidden place in West Hills. Sneak peek into this local estate.
A pinch of history
- William and Mary Orcutt bought the ranch in 1917.
- The adobe ranch house was designed and completed in 1926 by architect LG. Knipe
- In 1965, it was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No.31.
- A year later, the city of Los Angeles purchased 24 acres. It became the Orcutt Ranch Horticulture Center.
Rancho Sombra del Roble
The Rancho Sombra del Roble (Spanish for “shaded oak ranch”) was a 210-acre cattle ranch and citrus orchard. William Warren and Mary Orcutt lived in Los Angeles and came to this estate for vacations. Later, it became their retirement residence.
Born in Minnesota, William Warren Orcutt moved to California at age 12. He was a petroleum geologist. He uses science and engineering to develop oil production. He is also famous for discovering fossils in Hancock Park (also known as La Brea Tar Pits).
On the properties, there are numerous ancient oak trees. They were used to build the San Fernando Mission. Limbs were cut to fire the limestone. Then, they combined it with clay to make bricks.
The below ancient oak tree is estimated to be 700 years old.
Orcutt Ranch today
Today, Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department operate Orcutt Ranch. It includes the historic ranch adobe, the barn, a rose garden, a bamboo forest, a community garden, and citrus orchards.
It is a quiet place to hike and a popular place for weddings.
During the summer, orchards are open to the public to pick oranges and grapefruit.
Article based on my visit in May 2022
Ready to visit Orcutt Ranch?
Plan your visit:
- Location: 23600 Roscoe Blvd, West Hills, CA 91304
- Hours: 7 am – 10 pm, Monday-Sunday.
- Admission: Free
- Duration: I spent 1 hour discovering it
- Parking: free parking lot
- More information is available at https://www.laparks.org/horticulture/orcutt-ranch
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