«Tennessee Valley Stables GOLDEN GATE (Cunha/Rapozo Ranch, Ranch A/B) Cultural Resource Reports and Site Treatment: Cultural Landscape Report Historic ...»
View of Dairy Farm buildings looking northwest (NPS Photo, 2012)
Tennessee Valley Stables
(Cunha/Rapozo Ranch, Ranch A/B)
Cultural Resource Reports and Site Treatment:
Cultural Landscape Report
Historic Structure Reports
Archeological Assessment and Treatment
June 10, 2013
United States National Park Service,
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Division of Cultural Resources Tennessee Valley Stables Cultural Resource Reports and Site Treatment 1 Page left intentionally blank Tennessee Valley Stables Cultural Resource Reports and Site Treatment 2 Contents Introduction 7 How to Use This Document 7 Preparation 7 Relevant Documents 7 Executive Summary 8 Statement of Significance 10 Administrative Data 10 Historical Background and Context 11 Chronology of Development and Use 16 Cultural Landscape Report 21 Tennessee Valley Stables 21 (Cuhna/Rapozo Dairy Ranch, Ranch A/B) 21 Introduction 21 Management Summary 21 Scope of Work and Methodology 22 Study Boundaries 22 Summary of Findings 22 Existing Conditions 23 Analysis and Evaluation of Landscape Characteristics 25 Natural Systems and Features 25 Spatial Organization 27 Cluster Arrangement 29 Buildings and Structures 30 Circulation 33 Small Scale Features 35 Vegetation
Tennessee Valley Stables Cultural Resource Reports and Site Treatment 6 Introduction How to Use This Document This Cultural Resource Report combines historic structures reports, a cultural landscape report, and an archeological assessment for the Tennessee Valley Stables (the historic Cunha/Rapozo Ranch or Ranch M) under one cover for the convenience of the user.
Administrative data, contextual information and site history common to all these reports are placed into one common front section in order to avoid repetition. This document is intended to guide the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) and its tenants to manage the property to preserve its essential characteristics, conform to relevant planning documents, comply with the National Historic Preservation Act, and provide interpretive information for the benefit of park users. Historic structure reports are not yet prepared for structures that are not presently anticipated to be treated beyond basic stabilization measures. The precise location of sensitive archeological sites may be redacted from public versions of this document in accordance with National Park Service (NPS) policy and the provisions of the Archeological Resources Protection Act.
Preparation The United States National Park Service (NPS), Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), Division of Cultural Resources and Museum Management (CRMM) is the agency responsible for preparation of this report. Abby sue Fisher, Chief, and Stephen Haller, Branch Chief and Park Historian, directed the preparation of the report. Leo Barker, Archeologist and Peter Gavette, Archeologist, prepared the Archeological Assessment and Treatment Report; Amy Hoke, Historical Landscape Architect prepared the Cultural Landscape Report and Jason Hagin, Historical Architect prepared the Historic Structure Reports, created the architectural drawings (separate in an Addendum) and with Stephen Haller arranged the report for publication.
Relevant Documents The historic Da Cunha/Rapozo Ranch Dairy, also known historically as Ranch A/B, now known as the Tennessee Valley stables, located in Mill Valley, California is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The General Management Plan/Environmental Analysis (GMP, September 1980) is the main planning document for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The GGNRA is currently updating the GMP and Draft General Management Plan has already received public comment. Other relevant documents that relate to the planning of the Golden Gate Dairy Creamery building include the Incomplete Dairy Ranching History and Outline of Land Use in the Marin
Headlands, by Darcy Luce of the NPS, the 2001 Golden Gate Dairy Ranch House:
Physical History Report, Golden Gate Dairy, Muir Beach, California, by Kristin Baron of the NPS, and the 2003 Golden Gate Dairy Preservation Guide by Jane Lehman of the NPS. More broadly based research studies that examine regional ranching are also relevant, of which the revised 1994 Ranching on the Pont Reyes Peninsula: A History of the Dairy and Beef Ranches within the Point Reyes National Seashore Historic Resource Study and the 1995 A Good Life: Dairy Farming in the Olema Valley Historic Resource Tennessee Valley Stables Cultural Resource Reports and Site Treatment 7 Study, both by Dewey Livingston of the NPS, deal with closely related subjects. At the time of this writing, a 2006 National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form for the ranch, by Lissa McKee working with the NPS, which was submitted to the State of California Office of Historic Preservation, had been reviewed and a Determination of Eligibility to the National Register of Historic Places for the historic dairy farm has been issued. With the property determined eligible, it becomes subject to management via National Park Service Management Policies and NPS 28: Cultural Resource Management Guidelines. This Historic Structure Report (HSR) is written in response to the 2012 Marin Equestrian Plan Environmental Analysis, which used “Choosing By Advantages” to establish an adaptive reuse concepts for the Tennessee Valley Stables site, including the Main Barn Complex, Auxiliary Residence, Auxiliary Stables and House Barn, as the action alternative. At the time of this writing, a Finding of No Significant Impact and Errata for the Marin Equestrian Stables Plan Environmental Assessment is being finalized in alignment with the new park General Management Plan (GMP), currently in review of public comments stage, which will be approved in the near future. It is intended that project treatments that are informed by the analysis and follow the guidelines in this document will result in no adverse effect to historic properties.
Executive Summary The historic Da Cunha/Rapozo Ranch Dairy (Ranch A/B), located north of Sausalito, California is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Its ranch buildings are contributing features of the Da Cuhna/Rapozo Ranch Dairy site, which is an historic property eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is significant on a local level as an example of a rare surviving Azorean Portuguese dairy ranch in Marin County, California.
First owner of the property in the 1830s was William Richardson who owned almost 20,000 acres of coastal lands he named El Rancho Del Sausalito. In 1858, ownership changed to Samuel Throckmorton and later to the Tamalpais Land and Water Company (TL&W) in 1889. By 1898, ranch land parcels designated alphabetically on TL&W Company maps were sold, largely to the Azorean Portuguese residents who had been tenant-farming there already. The Da Cunha/Rapozo Ranch was listed as (Ranch A and) Ranch B on the TL&W Company maps, and was first purchased by Azorean Portuguese immigrants sometime between 1903 and 1906.
Ranch B’s building cluster was sited on a linear east-west axis that paralleled the natural topography, on a flat within a valley just north of a perennial stream between two prominent hillsides. The front facades of the main historic structures, which include the main residence, house barn, calf barn and main barn face toward each other to form a rudimentary central plaza. Parallel driveways provide access to these structures. A smaller plaza is formed by the rear of the main barn and the auxiliary residence. This closely spaced cluster ensured the functional efficiency of the dairy operation. The 1892 TL&W map shows two small parallel structures and several outbuildings on or near the present ranch site, but a comparison of the configuration shown in 1892 with present Tennessee Valley Stables Cultural Resource Reports and Site Treatment 8 aerial photos indicates few similarities. However the extant east portion of the main barn, though significantly altered, may date from close to this era, possibly as two parallel sheds joined by a high bay roof, housing a milking stable for the early dairy ranch.
Hidden under wood and rubber flooring and behind modern partitions, the concrete mangers, feed alleys and gutters remain, hinting at that earlier use. The main residence, house barn, calf barn, main barn complex and auxiliary residence do not appear to have been moved, although the historical record indicates that the main residence is a replacement that was constructed circa 1935 in a nearby location but presumably with the same footprint. The central part of the main barn was rehabilitated in 2002 by the NPS and nothing remains of historic building fabric. But despite recent modifications to existing buildings, the addition of small stables buildings, temporary horse paddocks and riding arenas the dairy era structures contribute to the historical integrity of the dairy ranch. This report will examine all the major historic structures on the property.
The NPS has prepared this report both to document and to provide Rehabilitation treatment recommendations for the landscape and buildings, including the main barn, calf barn, house barn and auxiliary residence buildings. Secondary historical research has been conducted and historic photographs have been analyzed to prepare the buildings’ overall developmental histories. Informal interviews of past and current tenants and NPS staff provided the history of the building’s evolution just before and during the years of NPS stewardship. The report had to be compiled in a condensed timeframe due to a lack of resource documentation needed to support adaptive reuse concepts for the historic site that are included in the Marin Headlands Equestrian Stables Plan Environmental Assessment. The work of this report is concurrent with work to create a Cultural Landscape Report and Archeological Overview and Assessment for site resources.
The main barn, calf barn and auxiliary residence buildings, at the writing of this report, are currently used by the Miwok Livery Stables, which has operated a horse boarding facility on the site since 1983. Miwok Livery is currently under contract with the Miwok Stables Center, a nonprofit that formed in 1994 as a NPS partner. Miwok Center is currently operating the stables under a Special Use Permit with the NPS, allowing for continued use and maintenance of the buildings and the equestrian facilities on the site.
As a working document, the purpose of this report is to address any proposed alterations as a Rehabilitation concept, evaluate their effectiveness at meeting the equestrian program needs without adverse effect on the building and site, and, where applicable, make recommendations for Rehabilitation of the buildings that are appropriate to the buildings and site and in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
The main barn, calf barn, house barn, and auxiliary residence buildings need a small amount of maintenance in order that they present a uniform level of preservation.
Equestrian use of the site has brought to light conflicting and competitive approaches to management of cultural and natural resources. At present, though thoroughly rusticated and aesthetically sympathetic to the landscape, the site is not easily recognized as a dairy ranch. The arrival experience presents an equestrian facility to NPS visitors.
Tennessee Valley Stables Cultural Resource Reports and Site Treatment 9 Statement of Significance The Da Cunha/Rapozo Ranch serves as testimony of the existence of the Portuguese Azorean rancher in Marin, especially as no early literature on these ranches was generated. Although all the owners, tenants, and, likely, laborers at the ranch from its construction until the 1960s were immigrants from the Azores, no material difference from other cultural groups local vernacular dairy ranch buildings is evident in ranch construction. Even if not physically evident, the vernacular buildings, within the relatively intact landscape, are, by all contextual accounts, typical for Portuguese Azorean dairy ranches. The modest residential buildings express the economies necessary when the primary asset was the herd. Distinctive cultural traditions are not obviously manifested in the ranch architecture, except that they represent the resilience and self-sufficiency acknowledged as sustained by familial connections and cultural identity.
With the loss of dozens of similar properties, only this property and Ranch M (Golden Gate Dairy) at Muir Beach, survive to represent the Portuguese dairy ranching in southern Marin County that was a foundation for today’s California dairy industry. The Da Cunha/Rapozo Ranch appears to be the older of the two by several years and best represents the connection of the multiple generations of one family that characterized some of these ranches. The Da Cunha/Rapozo Ranch also best represents such dairy ranches in relationship to the local terrain, with stream courses, meadows for close pasturage, steep hillsides used for upper pastures, and the dramatic windbreak tree rows.
Though the current horse stabling operations bear little relationship to the historic dairying practices, comparison to historic record indicate little change in the large scale agricultural land uses or in the arrangement of the barnyard cluster. Although the Da Cunha/Rapozo Ranch has undergone a series of changes since it was built in the 1880s, the serial constructions and alterations provide evidence of the changes typical of a smallscale dairy ranch. Those modifications that occurred after the 1920s, when Marin and Sonoma Counties no longer constituted the predominant dairy region, still possess significance by representing the continuity of dairying with subsequent generations of Azorean Portuguese owners and tenants. A period of significance of 1903 to 1955 thus demonstrates the persistence, frugality and hard work that enabled this group to succeed.
It also captures the entire time period of the dairying industry in southern Marin County, and addresses the story of the land in an uninterrupted fashion, despite the effects of suburban expansion and the conservation/parklands movement that indirectly resulted in the loss of similar dairy ranch compounds. In the 1903 to 1955 context the property retains integrity of feeling, association, setting, location and partial integrity of design materials and workmanship.