California Ranchos, Adobes and Historic Houses


The California ranchos, adobes and historic houses offer a glimpse into the lifestyles and times of the early settlers who brought commerce, agriculture and even a legal system to California during the mid- to - late 1800's through the early 20th century. Californians initially settled a mix of ranch-style homes made from the local products such as adobe brick to solid houses often utilizing old-growth redwood native to California. By European standards these houses and abodes are young, but vast areas of California sit in earthquake fault zones that have caused many buildings and structures to fall apart or require reinforcement to meet structural standards for safety. This means that many of the great homes and museums have been damaged or destroyed with some being rebuilt in the manner that most California missions have been.



California has grown so rapidly in the past century that the few historical houses and buildings that exist are often turned into museums.  Below are a few examples of facilities operated by nonprofit organizations or public entities who allow visitors to tour the buildings, usually for a nominal fee or for free. The California ranchos (a Spanish term for ranch), were often built during the 1800's after the Mexican government relinquished control of the California land and sold it, often for farms.  Houses that remain were sometimes of a Victorian or English style adopted from places of European influence from which many of their owners came.  Adobes were rustic homes made from the adobe earthen brick or mud that is prevalent in many regions of California. Those properties were often built by Mexicans who were deeded property by the Mexican government and required to operate the lands on which the adobes stand.  Adobes could be simple structures or large, fancy homes. 


Newland House
Huntington Beach
Santa Barbara
Rancho Los Alamitos
Long Beach
Dana Adobe
Camarillo Ranch
Winchester Mystery
San Jose
Greystone Mansion
Beverly Hills
Santa Ana Courthouse
Luther Burbank House
Santa Rosa
Rancho Los Cerritos
Long Beach
Eureka, CA
Historic Landmark
Diego Sepulveda Adobe
Costa Mesa