Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Plan to Preserve Carey Ranch Proceeding

By Pearl Obispo
Signal Staff Writer

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

fficials are busy working out the details of a plan to preserve the Harry Carey Ranch buildings in the Tesoro Del Valle development in Saugus.
    Los Angeles County supervisors are taking the first step today to add the historic property to a landscape and lighting district which will pay for the installation and maintenance of landscaping and security fencing, with an annual cost of living adjustment to keep ahead of inflation.
    Today's action will set a public hearing for July 22.
    The item was initially scheduled for April 29 but was pulled off the agenda by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich to resolve a dispute over the site's funding.
    The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society and the developer Montalvo Properties had reached an impasse in their negotiations for the preservation of the property, which had been owned by Western actor Harry Carey from 1916 to 1945. A 1999 agreement called for the historical society to own and manage the old ranch house and several out-buildings as a museum.
    Paul Novak, Antonovich's planning deputy, presided over a meeting with the various parties on May 6 and said everyone involved is committed to moving ahead and preserving the site.
    "What we (historical society, developer Montalvo Properties and county) came up with in our meeting was that in order to preserve the adobe, we needed to identify an effective funding mechanism," he said. "One of the components to that is the landscape and lighting district, which everybody agreed on. We needed to do that, as means to move forward in preserving the adobe."
    The historical society and county officials are scheduled to meet again May 30, to finalize a plan that includes the details of the museum operation.
    Although ownership and funding still has not been decided, Historical Society President Leon Worden said the society has operated a county-owned property for 23 years without any problems.
    "As the operator of Heritage Junction Historic Park in Newhall since 1980, the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society has enjoyed a positive working relationship with the county of Los Angeles for 23 years," Worden said. "Thanks to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich's personal interest in the preservation of the Harry Carey Ranch, a plan is being finalized that will expand the society's relationship with the county at the Harry Carey site."

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