By now readers of the website must realize I have a fascination with historic places, so it will come as no surprise that recently I was searching the internet for a new destination and discovered a perfect spot, the Yorba-Slaughter Families Adobe. The name is a mouthful, I agree. It alludes to the Yorba family, who first held the rancho as early as 1801, and the subsequent owners, the Slaughter family. I also suspect the addition of the word “families” helps to allay fears that the adobe was the sight of a massacre.
I live in Southern California, a land of freeways and tract homes. It’s difficult for me to image the days of open fields and the big ranches. Perhaps that’s why I keep exploring the old places. I did a little searching and discovered that the old adobe, built around 1852-53, would open at 10:00 am. Off I went to Chino!
Obviously, I missed some fine print somewhere in my searching.
I left the car at the gate and walked around to explore. I made the drive, so the least I could do was check out the site. The first building is an old wine barn. Don’t quote me because I couldn’t find a docent or any signage.
A large curving road runs in front of the barn. I suppose this road was busy at one time. There was no one about on the day of my visit.
I was eager to get inside the fence, but everything was locked tight. I took a few photos by holding the camera above my head.
This building is a recent addition to the property having been added in 2002. San Bernardino County, the current owners, wanted to give visitors a sense of 1890s life.
The main attraction at the rancho is the adobe. It’s one of the oldest standing adobe houses in the county.
I couldn’t enter the building, but I think there are four main rooms, each side by side with its own entrance.
Next door to the adobe is the Block House. It gets its name from the ornamental blocks.
You can see the blocks in the above image, at the rear of the building. Built in the early 20th century, this house became the principal residence which means the adobe was unoccupied until Julia Slaughter Foqua stared the restoration project in the late 1920s.
This property is a historic site, yet I doubt it will open again. It takes money to maintain these old buildings and to make them accessible to the public. I fully expect some developer to make an offer and buy the land.
A freeway runs parallel to the road behind the water tank. It is just out of sight, between the adobe property and the homes on the far hill. How soon before those developments come to this side of the freeway? It’s a pity, but it’s the way of things.
To see more images from my Yorba-Slaughter visit, please click here.