The Stanley Ranch house was constructed in 1891 by Edward G. Ware. Mr. Ware was co-developed the Eureka walnut and is credited with introducing the Valencia orange tree to Orange County.
The original location of the house was about 500 feet north. When Agnes Stanley donated two acres of her family ranch to the Garden Grove Historic Society in the early 1970s the house moved to its present location and rotated to face north.
This house was home to Edward, his wife Mary and daughter Lillian Agnes, who was the first native white child born in Garden Grove. Agnes married Arthur C. Stanley in 1905 and lived with her family in the house after the death of her parents. The two-story farmhouse was surrounded by an orange grove which had its last crop picked in 1971.
Agnes Stanley donated the last two acres of her ranch to the Garden Grove Historical Society in 1970. Since then the Garden Grove Historical Society has been saving old historic buildings from destruction and moving them to the ranch.
Stanley Ranch Museum is a look into the past of Garden Grove. Even though the ranch is now surrounded by homes it doesn’t take too much imagination to picture what the Garden grove looked like 100 years ago.
Nearby Stanley Ranch you can also find Garden Grove’s Historic Main Street which consists of buildings that date back to 100 years ago. Just north of main street is the Grove Theater and Festival Amphitheater. Also in the same area is the Village Green, home of the annual Strawberry Festival.
Buildings at Stanley Ranch include the original Garden Grove fire station, the Stanley ranch house, water tank and general store, several Queen Ann cottages, barber shop and a 1932 garage used by Walt Disney.
Replica of the first fire station in Garden Grove. Early firemen were all volunteers up until 1956 when the city incorporated. A few of Garden Grove’s buildings have been saved moved to the Stanley Ranch Museum and now form a historical village.
The first Garden Grove fire station stood at 10811 Garden Grove Boulevard, where home Depot is now. the station housed an American La France pumper equipped with a six-cylinder Continental engine and 400-gallon water capacity.
As the city’s population continued to grow, new fire stations were added at a rapid rate in order to keep up with the growth. The City’s first fire engine is now stored in a replica of the original fire station at the Garden Grove Historical Society’s Heritage Park.
Allow about one hour to walk around the ranch and its historic 1880s buildings. Guided tours are offered and last about two hours. History buffs will enjoy learning about the early history of Garden Grove.
Garden Grove was founded by Alonzo Cook in 1874. A school district and Methodist church were organized that year. It remained a small rural crossroads until the arrival of the railroad in 1905.
The rail connection helped the town prosper with crops of orange, walnuts, chili peppers and later strawberries. In 1933, much of the town’s central business district was destroyed by the Long Beach earthquake, and one person was killed.
The post-World War II boom led to rapid development, and Garden Grove was incorporated as a city in 1956 with about 44,000 residents.
By 1960, Garden Grove’s population had grown to 85,000; by 1970 it was 120,000. In the late 1970s and 1980s, a significant Asian population (primarily Vietnamese and Korean) began to locate in the area.
Water for Stanley Ranch was supplied by an open well and a windmill was used to pump the water supply. The tank on top of the tank house, built circa 1910, stored the water supply for the house and barn.
Garden Grove’s first Water Department building was added to the Pump House and is used as a “General Store”, housing memorabilia and offering unique items for sale
Stanley Ranch museum is open to the public for tours at 1:30 p.m. the first and third Sunday of each month.
Suggested donation is five dollars for adults and one dollar for children. Special tours can be arranged during the week for eight or more. The ranch can also host an old fashion wedding in the rose garden behind the main house. Stanley Ranch is located at Stanley Ranch Museum, 12174 Euclid Street, Garden Grove, CA 92840. Telephone: 714/530-8871