The Yucaipa Adobe Museum

32183 Kentucky Street
Yucaipa, CA 92399

909-795-3485

California Historical Landmark #528:

History:

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. By that time, most of the property had been sold.

Restoration:

In 1954, the Yucaipa Woman’s Club raised funds to save the deteriorated 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 Yucaipa Adobe contains furnishings from the nineteenth century. Horse-drawn farm implements are exhibited outside the adobe. The exhibit was donated by the Haley and Melton families, early Yucaipa ranchers. The Lions Club of Yucaipa moved the farm implements to the site and organized the exhibit, which also includes a blacksmith shop.

The site is available for outdoor events such as weddings, receptions and other ceremonies. Spinners and weavers, storytellers and school groups make regular use of the site. Enjoy your visit!

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