Fresh from having redesigned what would become the preservation of the historic Aliso Viejo Ranch, a team of architects and planners lead a discussion with the San Gorgonio Pass Historical Society during its March meeting about efforts to invigorate the Gilman Ranch in Banning.
A community center of sorts is expected on the grounds to replace a barn that burned down; advisers anticipate it will become an attractive location for wedding receptions and community events.
The team solicited ideas of what else could be added or enhanced at Gilman Ranch, that could generate a “synergy” between the ranch and the community that would attract more visitors.
Suggestions received included installing interpretive panels and signage explaining elements of history along the Bradshaw Trail and highlighting the area’s flora and fauna.
Banning City Councilman Rick Minjares wondered if more pine trees could be planted along the fence lining Wilson Street, which could be decorated with inviting lights during the holidays.
Visitors want expanded hours.
Maybe a simple perimeter trail around the ranch property, for those who don’t have the energy to traverse hilly trails.
Society member Steve Higbee wants to see “an actual working stove” in the ranch house.
The County Regional Park and Open-Space District received $6.05 million through Proposition 68’s Statewide Park Development and Community Revitalization Program last December to develop the “Stagecoach Stop Park” at the grounds of Gilman Ranch, the roots of which go back to 1854. James Marshall Gilman, who raised cattle and various agricultural crops such as wheat and oats, almonds and olives, purchased it in the late 1860s.
The site has the remnants of the first permanent structure built in Banning, an adobe house, which would also house the first post office in the Pass area, and become a stagecoach stop.
The site also has a connection to the infamous Willie Boy manhunt that would inspire books and movies.
The existing yellow ochre-colored ranch house is a replica of the original, which the Gilmans started to build in 1879. It burned down in 1977.
Doug Grove, the project’s lead consultant and president of Riverside-based RHA Landscape Architects-Planners, Inc., gave an overview of concepts being considered for additions to the Gilman Ranch property at the historical society’s March 9 meeting, held at the Cherry Valley Grange.
He was joined by project consultants Jim Wilson of Newport Beach-based Thirtieth Street Architects, Inc., Cultural Resources Manager Steve O’Neil, of Irvine-based UltraSystems Environmental, Inc., and Scipio Ibarra, a civil engineering consultant with Ontario-based IMEG Corp.
The meeting was one of “many” the consultant group will participate in as it further develops a concept to make Gilman Ranch a Pass area destination for students, families and events.
To submit suggestions for what could be done to enhance experience and involvement at the Gilman Ranch, email ideas to email@example.com.
Staff Writer David James Heiss is a board member of the San Gorgonio Pass Historical Society. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and messages may be left at (951) 849-4586 x114.
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.