Ver Planck Historic Preservation Consulting


Beatty Ranch and Bear Creek Stables Complex
Historic Resource Evaluations

LOCATION: near Los Gatos, Santa Clara County, California
CLIENT: Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District

The Beatty Ranch is a rare and intact example of a mid-19th-century rural homestead in the Santa Cruz Mountains, west of Los Gatos, California. The property contains four buildings: a ca. 1866 dwelling, a ca. 1915 garage/wood room, a ca. 1920 barn/stable (with later additions), and a ca. 1980 shed. The property also contains fences, remnants of gardens and orchards, and a documented prehistoric site. Embodied in its old-growth redwood plank-frame construction, lack of a permanent foundation, and simple vernacular design devoid of any extraneous ornament, the Beatty House is representative of the pioneer dwellings once common in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Located on the opposite side of Alma Valley from the Beatty Ranch, the Bear Creek Stables complex is a very different type of property. Once part of the Alma Ranch, a sprawling tract in the Santa Cruz Mountains long owned by San Francisco's elite Flood and the Tevis families, the Bear Creek Stables complex encompasses a 1916 stable, an adjoining cottage/office, and a 1917 foreman's house. The Craftsman-style stable was built by Dr. Harry Tevis to house his prized Tennessee walking horses. Constructed by local contractor Harley Hoerler, apparently with design assistance from San Francisco architect George Kelham, the building is one of the best examples of its kind in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Chris VerPlanck prepared historic resource evaluations and DPR 523 forms for each of these properties. Previously undocumented, the project required hours of exhaustive archival research, including consulting old Santa Clara County highway maps, land patent and survey records, and the journals of Dr. Harry Tevis at the Bancroft Library, at UC Berkeley.

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