The History of Mission Ranch
The Mission Ranch has a rich and varied history.
The Ranch originally consisted of 160 acres and was owned by Juan Romero, a native American who is believed to have lived in the village next to the Carmel Mission. In 1852 he deeded the property to William Curtis, a Monterey storekeeper, for $300. In the 1850’s, the property became one of the first of the early California dairies. The creamery, which supplied the county with cheese and butter, now houses the restaurant. The barns were used for hay and milking. During this time, the Martin family, who owned the ranch for 60 years, also farmed potatoes for the Sierra gold miners.
The Ranch has had some 17 owners.
It operated as a private club, then as an officers’ club for the Army and Navy during World War II. At that time the windows were occasionally blackened against a possible Japanese landing. It was owned in those days by the Dienelt family, who had the ranch for 39 years. It had a rollicking reputation, with dance bands and a lively bar scene. Portions of the property were sold to the Carmel School District and the State. Clint Eastwood bought the ranch in 1986, rescuing the property from an impending fate as a condominium development. He sought out the best craftsmen for renovation who have replicated moldings, doorframes and hardware to match the style of the original buildings. Each structure reflects a different architectural period: from the 1840’s feel of the restaurant and dance barn to the century old Martin Farmhouse and Bunkhouse.
The one time Bunkhouse is the oldest structure on the Ranch and is now one of the unique buildings where guests can stay.
Other accommodations include the Farmhouse, Honeymoon Cottage, Main Barn rooms, Hayloft and Meadowview rooms. The buildings are nestled among historic cypress and eucalyptus trees, as well as newly planted gardens and landscaping that grace and add beauty to what used to be farmland. The property has not abandoned its history and still has a portion of open meadow land that is home to mascot sheep that live at the ranch.