Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Harry Carey Ranch Survey:
Wood Stables.
By JRP HISTORCIAL CONSULTING SERVICES, for the National Parks Service.


Wood Stables (Building 8)
HABS No. CA-2712-H

28515 San Francisquito Canyon Road, Saugus, Los Angeles County, California.
UTM Coordinates: 11.0357178.3815660


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.


This one-story, wood-framed structure (Building 8) is located at the northern most point of the main ranch complex, north of the swimming pool. This wood-frame building measures approximately 14'-6" wide and 70'-6" long. The single wall construction is sheathed with board-and-batten siding with corner boards. A composition sheet covered shed roof with projecting eaves tops the building and a wood fascia finishes the ends of the exposed rafters. A visor awning covered in composition sheet roofing and supported by wood brackets is set just under the narrow overhang of the main shed roof at the south side of the building. This awning extends from the west end of the building to just before the last horse stall on the south facade.

Because the building rests on a slightly sloping site, the three main elements of the building employ slightly different foundations and floor treatments. The westernmost bay is a hay shelter that is completely open at the south elevation. It has a wood foundation and a wood plank floor. The central bay consists of a tack room flanked on each side by a horse stall; the tack room has a poured concrete floor and the stalls have earthen floors. While these two stalls are as wide as the rest of the building, the tack room is recessed at the south side where a wood-paneled door with glazing and four-over-one wood-framed casement window are set into the wall. The flanking stalls are each accessed at the north facade (by a Dutch door) and each has a single-hinged door that opens onto the recessed area in front of the tack room. The third element is a bay consisting of two horse stalls with earthen floors and wood foundations. Concrete masonry blocks have been added to the foundation at the southeast corner of the building.

Like the stalls that flank the tack room, the two stalls at the east end of the building also have two-part hinged doors in the north side. A small window is located opposite the main door of each of the four stalls, in the south wall. The two easternmost stalls have hinged wood shutters, while the windows of the stalls flanking the tack room are lacking shutters and appear to have been cut into the wall at some point after the initial construction of the building. Each of the stalls opens onto a series of small pens with metal bars and metal pipe posts located along the north side of the building.


This building is one of the few wood frame buildings constructed on this property and the only one included in the historic district. While there is no known documentation of its construction, property records estimate this building was constructed circa 1925. In an early photograph (Figure 1) taken in the 1920s, a circular corral adjoins the south side of the stable. The building in this photograph is considerably smaller than the existing, suggesting an addition was made later. Harry Carey Jr. has stated in recent interviews that Universal Studios built the Wood Stable in exchange for allowing the ranch to be used as a film location. The stable is purported to be the site of the "Wild West" shows that Harry Carey held on the ranch during the 1920s.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.

    "View of Ranch: Harry Carey Trading Post, Saugus, California," n.d. [ca. 1920s], Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society,

    Photo of Harry Carey Ranch, undated but probably dating to the 1920s, from Company of Heroes by Harry Carey Jr. (1994).

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. 4701), 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 the Wood Stables (Building 8) will be stabilized, moved within the designated historic district and used as a static display.


Meta Bunse, JRP Historical Consulting Services, 2001.


1. Property Records, County of Los Angeles Office of the Assessor; Heumann and Wells. "...Harry Carey Ranch Historic District." DPR523 forms on file with California Office of Historic Places (July 6, 1993); Harry Carey, Jr., interview. January 26, 2001.

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