by Stephanie Elgin
Long live the days of the great western films, where cowboys rode into the dusty towns on their faithful steed, maintaining the law, claiming their territorial rights. Iconic actors such as John Wayne and Harry Carey graced the big screen with their Stetson hats, spurs and bandanas for all moviegoers to enjoy.
And the spirit of the west continues to live in the Santa Clarita Valley.
In the 1920’s and 30’s, western film actor, Harry Carey built and owned the Tesoro Adobe, calling Santa Clarita his home. Harry Carey is noted for making well over 200 films in the days of silent films, often sharing the screen with John Wayne, William S. Hart and others. Harry Carey married actress Olive Golden Carey and together they had a daughter, Ella Taylor and a son Harry Carey Junior, who also made about 100 films and television shows.
The original home burned in a fire and was replaced by the current adobe home in 1932. The site was originally 1,795 acres in size and was home to around 40 Navajos who worked on the ranch. John Wayne, William S. Hart, Gary Cooper and others have visited the home of Harry Carey. The Carey family sold the home in the mid 1940’s. The Clougherty family of Farmer John bought the Tesoro Adobe property in 1952, and in June of 2005, the County accepted the donation of the Tesoro Adobe Historic Park from Montalvo Properties LLC, the developer of the Tesoro residential community surrounding the park. The site is currently two and a half acres.
The home, one of seven buildings at the park, is made of adobe bricks. There is a small adobe stable and an even larger wooden stable that Universal Studios built in exchange for using the ranch in the early 1930’s. Joe’s Cabin is currently the park’s office. Western paintings adorn the home, bullhorns hang on the doorways and western themed rugs and décor remain throughout the home.
The Tesoro Adobe Historic Park is located on 29350 Avenida Rancho Tesoro in Valencia. Enjoy free tours of the Tesoro Adobe Residence and Museum, Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The park is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Picnic areas surround the facility, including tables and a gas barbecue grill. There is also an outdoor amphitheater, featuring plays and movies about the old West.
For more information call 661-702-8923.