The San Bernardino County Museum will host a Family Fun Day, “Adobe Day: Making History,” at the Yucaipa Adobe in Yucaipa on Saturday, April 22 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The day will include guided tours of the historic 1858 adobe ranch house. Family activities will reflect how children lived in California in the 1800s. Among the activities are candle-dipping, rug-beating, and making adobe bricks. Children can paddle a butter churn and make some fresh butter, cross-stitch a bookmark, make a broom, and wash clothes the old-fashioned way. Led by the Museum Youth Club, these activities are designed for families with children ages 4 to 13.
Before European contact, the site of the Yucaipa Adobe was occupied by the Serrano Indians. The marsh land, fed by springs, supported abundant vegetation and wildlife. In 1842, Antonio Maria Lugo received a grant of land in the San Bernardino and Yucaipa valleys from Mexican Governor Alvarado and established the San Bernardino Rancho. Diego Sepulveda, a cousin by marriage to the Lugo family, brought a herd of cattle from other ranchos and settled in the Yucaipa Valley.
Oral history and tradition attributed this adobe home to Diego Sepulveda. But historical and archaeological studies undertaken during restoration and seismic strengthening of the adobe in 1989-1990 provided a new interpretation. It is now believed that Diego Sepulveda’s adobe was located a few hundred yards away, near 16th and Dunlap Boulevard, and that James Waters, noted hunter, trapper, and mountaineer, built the Yucaipa Adobe in 1858-1859. Mr. Waters stocked his Yucaipa Rancho with sheep, driving herds as far as Arizona and Montana.
John Dunlap, a Texas cattleman, purchased the Yucaipa ranch in 1869. The Dunlap family moved into the adobe and used the land for grazing and for raising grain and alfalfa. The Dunlap family maintained ties to the ranch until the 1950s.
In 1954, the Yucaipa Woman’s Club raised funds to save the adobe dwelling from demolition. Eventually they gave the property to the County of San Bernardino to be administered as a part of the San Bernardino County Museum system. The front section of the adobe was refurbished, and caretakers’ quarters were placed at the back of the structure.
The Yucaipa Adobe is at 32183 Kentucky Street in Yucaipa. To reach the site, take I-10 and turn south on Yucaipa Blvd. Turn right on 16th Street, left on Dunlap, and left on Kentucky Street. No admission fee is charged; donations of $2 (adult) and $1 (child) are requested. For more information on “Adobe Day,” call the museum education division at (909) 307-2669 ext. 271 or visit www.sbcountymuseum.org