Sunday, April 25, 2010

Joel McCrea Ranch to Build Visitor Center, Open for Tours

The ranch owned by Joel McCrea and Frances Dee in Ventura County, California, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, announced plans last month to build a visitor center.

The center will feature displays and exhibits and be available for movies and meetings.

The caretaker's home on the ranch property, which is 90 years old, will be preserved. In about a year the ranch will open for tours.

Joel McCrea is said to have listed his occupation as "rancher," not actor, on his tax returns. He often rode his own horse and wore his own clothes when he filmed Westerns.

The ranch represents the intersection of California history with film history, and it's wonderful news that it will be preserved. We will definitely want to take this tour when it opens to the public. To say that I am thrilled by the possibility is an understatement.

A photo gallery of the ranch, featuring the McCreas' grandson Wyatt, is here.

And more ranch history, including some beautiful old black and white photos, is here.

Previously: February 14, 2010.

Wednesday Update: Here's more at 50 Westerns From the 50s.


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