Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Harry Carey Ranch Survey:
Joe's Cabin.
By JRP HISTORCIAL CONSULTING SERVICES, for the National Parks Service.


Joe's Cabin (Building 4)
HABS No. CA-2712-F

28515 San Francisquito Canyon Road, Saugus, Los Angeles County, California.
UTM Coordinates: 11.0357165.3815568


This building is a contributing element of the Harry Carey Ranch Historic District. The district is associated with the historically significant life and work of the film star Harry Carey Sr., as described in the accompanying narrative report.


Joe's Cabin (Building 4) is located just north of the Bunkhouse (Building 2) and northeast of the Ranch House (Building 5) on the Harry Carey Ranch. This Spanish Colonial Revival adobe building sits on a raised concrete foundation and is primarily rectangular in plan. The low-pitched parapet roof slopes west and is sheathed in composition sheet roofing. The building has exterior walls measuring 1'-2" thick, capped at the top by Mission tiles, and all are sheathed with stucco siding. The only entrance, a vertical wood batten door, is centered on the facade (south) surrounded by two, four-over-one, wood-frame casement windows with wood slip sills. Seven deteriorating wood vigas (telephone poles) project out of the wall approximately three feet on the north and south sides of the building. There are two large cracks on the west wall extending from the roof toward the window, which is a single, aluminum four-over-four replacement sash set in a wood lug sill. Three wood-frame windows, two four-over-one wood-frame casement windows with wood lug sills, and two wood-frame hopper windows appear in the north side of the building.

The interior of Joes Cabin consists of a main room (26'-0" in length and 19'-8" wide) with the small kitchen and a wood-frame bath addition located off its west side. An interior adobe and brick fireplace with wood mantel reaches diagonally across the northeast corner of the building. The interior walls are finished with a painted cement plaster and the ceiling reveals the exposed telephone pole ceiling beams and wood plank finished ceiling.


Assessor records estimate this building was built about 1920, but no documentation was found showing the exact construction date. The distinctive features of the building — a flat roof, parapet walls, vigas, and stucco siding — are suggestive of the Harry Carey Trading Post destroyed in the 1928 St. Francis Dam disaster, so the estimated date appeals to be roughly accurate. Harry Carey, Jr. recalls this building used for guests in the early 1920s and then later as Joe Harris' residence. Harris was a long-time friend and employee of Harry Carey, Sr. who served as the ranch foreman for many years.1


    Real Property Records, County of Los Angeles Office of the Assessor, December 2000.

    Harry Carey, Jr., January 26, 2001. Durango, CO. Telephone interview by Meta Bunse, JRP Historical Consulting Services. Davis, CA.

    Leslie Heumann and Helen Wells. "Historic Resources Inventory: Harry Carey Ranch Historic District." DPR523 forms on file with California Office of Historic Places. July 6, 1993.

Project Information:

The Los Angeles District Army Corps of Engineers, in consideration of a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit for the Tesoro Del Valle Project in Los Angeles County, California, found that the Tesoro del Valle Project, would have an effect on the Harry Carey Ranch Historic District, a property eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. With this finding of effect, the Corps, pursuant to 36 CFR Part 800, regulations implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f), has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the California State Historic Preservation Officer (in concurrence with Montalvo Properties, LLC) regarding the historic Harry Carey Ranch property. In compliance with the MOA, Joe's Cabin (Building 4) will be used as a static display.


Meta Bunse, JRP Historical Consulting Services, 2001.


1. Harry Carey. Jr., interview, January 6, 2001; Heumann and Wells, "...Harry Carey Ranch Historic District," DPR523 forms on file with California Office of Historic Places (July 6, 1993); Property Records, County of Los Angeles Office of the Assessor.

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