Postcard, probably 1925-28, titled "Harry Carey Trading Post, Saugus, California. View of Ranch." Back reads:
Situated in the beautiful San Francisquito Canyon 35 miles from Los Angeles, consisting
of over 1,200 acres. Here, Navajo Indians live in their native way, and large herds
of Navajo and Karakul sheep graze on the slopes of the mountains.
Historian Meta Bunse of JRP Historical Consulting Services in Davis, Calif., prepared
environmental documentation on the ranch property in 2001. She provides the following information
about this photograph, clockwise starting at center-left:
The wood-frame Carey ranch house, built before 1921, is left of center and includes a wood-frame pump house
with water tanks supported on its roof. It was in this pump house that a fire started
in September 1932, claiming the ranch house, which would be rebuilt in Spanish adobe style. The
original wooden ranch home may not actually have had a red roof as shown here; this postcard,
by C.T. American Art Colored of Chicago, is colorized.
Moving to the right in the photo, at top is probably the adobe "upper garage" built
around 1925 (thus the estimation of the date of the photo, 1925-28, the latter being
the year of the St. Francis Dam disaster.) Continuing to the right, a very small structure with a
tall smokestack or chimney is probably the adobe smokehouse. The long building next to it may
be an adobe chicken house later converted into stables. In the foreground, the wood-frame
stable, known as the "wood stables," was later enlarged. The corral is now gone, as is the
wood-frame building in the lower right-hand corner.
Despite the title of the postcard,
the Harry Carey Trading Post is not shown in this photo. It probably stood about a
quarter-mile southeasterly from the rest of the ranch (out of the picture to the left). Nor is
the caretaker's house shown; it stood about a half-mile southeasterly at the front gate
on San Francisquito Canyon Road.
Click image to enlarge.
Actor Harry Carey (Sr.) acquired a homestead at the mouth of San Francisquito Canyon in 1916 and established a rancho. The ranch included the Carey's wooden ranch home
as well as several outbuildings and the Harry Carey Trading Post, which was a tourist attraction that included billed entertainment from Navajo Indians and other performers,
along with a store that sold Western and Indian curios. The ranch was occasionally used for filming. The Careys'
son, Harry Carey Jr. (Dobe), who would follow in his father's acting footsteps, was born in the Carey ranch home in 1921.
The trading post washed away in the St. Francis Dam disaster of March 1928 and was not rebuilt. The Indians left about a month earlier. According to Dobe,
a shaman saw "a big crack and predicted it would break." The ranch house was situated at a higher
elevation and survived the flood, only to burn down in 1932. The Careys replaced it by building a Spanish adobe home, which they sold with the
rancho in 1945.
Harry Carey was born Henry DeWitt Carey II on January 16, 1878 on 116th Street in the Bronx section
of New York City. His father was a special-sessions judge and president of a sewing machine company.
Harry attended a military academy but declined an appointment to West Point, instead trying his hand as a playwright.
According to the Internet Movie Database: In 1911, his friend Henry B. Walthall
introduced him to director D.W. Griffith, for whom Carey
was to make many films. Carey married twice [correx: 3 times; see here], the [third]
time to actress Olive Fuller Golden (aka Olive Carey),
who introduced him to future director John Ford. Carey influenced Universal Studios head Carl Laemmle
to use Ford as a director, and a partnership was born that lasted until a rift in the friendship in 1921.
During this time, Carey grew into one of the most popular Western stars of the early motion picture,
occasionally writing and directing films as well. In the 1930s he moved slowly into character roles
and was nominated for an Oscar for one of them, the president of the Senate in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"
(1939). He worked once more with Ford, in "The Prisoner of Shark Island" (1936), and appeared
once with his son, Harry Carey Jr., in Howard Hawks' "Red River" (1948).
He died Sept. 21, 1947,
in Brentwood, after a protracted bout with emphysema and cancer. Ford dedicated his remake "3 Godfathers"
(1948) "To Harry Carey — Bright Star Of The Early Western Sky."
Carey would appear in at least 233 films, including short features, between 1909 and 1949.
Further reading: Harry Carey Ranch: Historic American Buildings Survey No. CA-2712.
LW2087: 9600 dpi jpeg from original postcard purchased 2018 by Leon Worden (2nd example?)