Rancho del Cielo, also known in its English translation as Sky's Ranch or Heaven's Ranch, is a 688-acre (1.075 sq mi)/278-hectare (2.78 km2) ranch located atop the Santa Ynez Mountain range northwest of Santa Barbara, California. It served as a vacation home for Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan.
The ranch was originally named Rancho de los Picos after José Jesús Pico, a descendant of Santiago de la Cruz Pico who arrived with the Anza Expedition in 1776, who homesteaded it and built the original adobe house in 1871. The Pico family owned the ranch until 1941, when Joe, one of Jose Pico's sons, sold it to Santa Barbara County surveyor Frank Flournoy for $6,000 (equal to $110,500 today). In turn, he sold the ranch to Ray and Rosalie Cornelius, who then purchased additional land for the property.
Ronald Reagan's family owned a ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains that was much closer to their home in Bel Air, Los Angeles. The Reagans sold that ranch to a movie company and it is now part of Malibu Creek State Park. The Reagans then bought the ranch from the Corneliuses for about $527,000 in 1974 (equal to approximately $2,896,000 today) when his second term as governor of California was nearing an end. The estate contained a pond called Lake Lucky, stables and a barn for horses, and a 1,500 ft² (139 m²) house furnished with 1970s-style furniture. The ranch is located in a remote area on the crest of the Santa Ynez Mountains overlooking the Gaviota Coast. The nearest highway on the ocean side of the mountains is U.S. Route 101, with Solvang, California being the nearest community on the inland side of the mountains.
Reagan spent vacations during his presidency at the ranch, which became known as the Western White House. He signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 at the ranch and at various times hosted British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. After leaving the presidency in 1989, the Reagans moved to a home in Bel Air but kept the ranch as a retreat.
Because of his Alzheimer's disease, Reagan last visited the ranch in 1995. Nancy last visited in 1998, before selling the property to the Young America's Foundation, a conservative group which preserves it today as what it calls "a living monument to Reagan's ideas, values, and lasting accomplishments." Although the ranch is closed to the public, the foundation offers students and supporters the opportunity to visit the property.
In popular culture
The Reagans with Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 1983
Reagan riding his Arabian horse "El Alamein", 1986
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- McKINNEY, JOHN (January 14, 1989). "On What Was Once Reagan's Ranch, a Trail to the Chief". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- FISCHETTI, B PETER (November 23, 2010). "Book describes years working on Reagans ranch". Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
- WILLON, PHIL (January 18, 2018). "Reagan Ranch has transformed into a spawning ground for young conservatives". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- FIORE, FAYE (April 21, 1998). "Conservative Group Buys Reagan Ranch". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Reagan Ranch – California's Gold (127) – Huell Howser Archives at Chapman University".