Ardenwood Historic Farm

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George Washington Patterson Ranch--Ardenwood
A view of the Patterson House during a Civil War demonstration during Memorial Day 2003
Ardenwood Historic Farm is located in San Francisco Bay Area
Ardenwood Historic Farm
Ardenwood Historic Farm
Ardenwood Historic Farm is located in California
Ardenwood Historic Farm
Ardenwood Historic Farm
Ardenwood Historic Farm is located in the United States
Ardenwood Historic Farm
Ardenwood Historic Farm
Location34600 Newark Blvd.
Fremont, California
Coordinates37°33′29″N 122°02′58″W / 37.55806°N 122.04944°W / 37.55806; -122.04944Coordinates: 37°33′29″N 122°02′58″W / 37.55806°N 122.04944°W / 37.55806; -122.04944
ArchitectJames Hawley
Architectural styleQueen Anne
NRHP reference #85003043
Added to NRHPNovember 29, 1985

Ardenwood Historic Farm is a Regional Historic Landmark in Fremont, California. It is managed by the East Bay Regional Park District.


Officially opened to the public on July 28, 1985, the entire park includes a farm, a large forest and a mansion now called the Patterson House which was first constructed in 1857 by the farm's original owner, George Washington Patterson.

Patterson called his estate "Ardenwood", after the forested area in England mentioned in Shakespeare's play, As You Like It. There were two subsequent additions to the house. The largest was in 1889 when Patterson and his wife Clara added the Queen Anne Victorian section to the House. The second addition came in 1915 when Patterson's son Henry and his wife remodeled the old farm house section, and added rooms including the kitchen, a large bedroom above the kitchen, the sun porch, nursery, and a bathroom with indoor plumbing.[1]

A feature of the park is the Railroad Museum at Ardenwood which operates a 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge[2] horse-drawn railway, a recreation of a historic local branch of the South Pacific Coast Railroad. The museum has a collection of narrow gauge railroad cars and other artifacts of 19th-century railroading. The museum is run by the Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources.

The park hosts many events, a Celtic festival,[3] an Independence Day celebration, the Washington Township Railroad Fair on Labor Day, a Renaissance Faire in September,[4] The Harvest Festival in October, a Zydeco concert, and many Halloween celebrations, complete with a haunted railroad. Among other crops, in the fall the farm harvests a large pumpkin patch.

Historic area agricultural usage[edit]

The Ardenwood Farm today is a working farm producing grain and vegetables. The local area was in agricultural usage beginning sometime in the 1850s.[5] The Ardenwood Farm locale was characterized first for its use as grazing land and dairy production, and gradually became increasingly dedicated to wheat and vegetable production.

A review of available aerial photographs by Earth Metrics reveals[6] that the area immediately to the south was used for agricultural purposes from at least 1960 until some time in the late 1970s cultivated with a grain crop. No discrete rows are visible in the aerial photographs of that time. The Alameda family was a prominent occupant in the area for much of the period of agricultural land use. Mel Alameda of The Alameda Company confirmed to Earth Metrics that while cauliflower has been the dominant historic crop for the area, hay and grazing were the primary use later and until the late 1970s. Based on the lack of visible rows on the aerial photos, it is most probable that the area to the south was used for hay production rather than cauliflower.

Panorama of the Patterson House on the Ardenwood Historic Farm property in Fremont, California.

Image gallery[edit]


  1. ^ Patterson Ranch - About Patterson Ranch Archived January 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Ardenwood's Horses" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-21. Retrieved 2014-01-29.
  3. ^ Ardenwood Celtic Festival Archived May 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Ardenwood Renaissance Faire Archived September 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, APN 537-521-1-11, Fremont, California, Earth Metrics Inc. report 10302, Nov. 15, 1989
  6. ^ Aerial Photo GS-VACY 1-99, July 12, 1960, United States Geological Survey Photo Library, Washington DC,

External links[edit]