Joel McCrea Ranch

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Joel McCrea Ranch
Buildings at Joel McCrea Ranch, Thousand Oaks.jpg
Two unidentified lesser buildings, perhaps non-contributing ones
Location 4500 N. Moorpark Rd., Thousand Oaks, California
Area 220 acres (89 ha)
Built 1933
Built by Winget, Glenn O.
Architect Byers, John
Architectural style ranch style
NRHP reference # 97000295[1]
Added to NRHP April 18, 1997

The Joel McCrea Ranch, located at 4500 N. Moorpark Rd. in Thousand Oaks, California is also known as the August DuMortier Ranch. The ranch is rare surviving example of the large cattle ranches and fields of grain which once dotted the Santa Rosa and Conejo valleys in eastern Ventura County.[2]

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997, the site includes eight contributing buildings and four contributing structures on over 220 acres (89 ha).[1] One surviving building dates from 1890 from August DuMortier's ranch; the main house, an avocado-shaped pool, and a cabana/poolhouse were built in 1933; a maid's residence and various other contributing and non-contributing buildings date from later. It is historically significant for association with actor Joel McCrea, a major star in the movie industry. The main house and some other buildings are also significant works of architect John Byers; according to the NRHP nomination:

Byers was a prominent regional architect, best known for his adobe and Spanish Colonial Revival designs. The Joel McCrea ranch house is a rare and very successful departure from Byers' usual period revivalism into the realm of the informal California Ranch style, just emerging in Southern California.[3]

The ranch is at the bottom of the Norwegian Grade, a road built by settlers around 1900.[4] The Norwegian Colony, at the north end of the Conejo Valley, needed a safe route to transport bales of hay and sacks of wheat and barley to the Oxnard Plain. This road allowed grain bound for San Francisco and England passed through here and down the Santa Rosa Valley to the Hueneme Wharf.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Flans, Robyn (February 7, 2018). "McCrea family's Hollywood legacy lives on at Conejo ranch". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 8 February 2018. 
  3. ^ Judith P. Triem and Mitch Stone (October 25, 1996). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Joel McCrea Ranch / August DuMortier Ranch". National Park Service.  and accompanying 20 photos
  4. ^ Olsen, Gerald E. "Gerry" (18 September 2010). "Norwegian Grade, built by hand, is turning 100". Ventura County Star.