"BEFORE THE SEA RANCH" PANEL DISCUSSION
An Event in Honor of The Sea Ranch 50th Birthday
Sunday, August 3, 2014
The Sea Ranch, California
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Ever Wonder What The Sea Ranch Was Before There Was A Sea Ranch?
Click on the links below to listen and find out.
- Introduction by Susan Clark - a Sonoma County historian and Sea Rancher, who organized and moderated the panel discussion.
- Pat Ashurst and Russ Ohlson - Ed Ohlson's children who moved to the family's Del Mar Ranch in 1941, and grew up there. Pat recalls, "Like most kids in those days I had my chores. Since we didn't have electricity, I filled the oil lamps. Twice a day the orphaned lambs, sometimes as many as ten or twelve, needed to be bottle fed." Pat's brother, Russ, remembers "driving up Highway 1 for the first time. I was with my Dad at Sebastopol Meat Company. We delivered a truck and trailer load of lambs. He asked if I would like to drive back to the ranch and naturally I said "yes." I was only fourteen."
- Reverdy Johnson - the attorney and early Sea Rancher, who wrote the CC&R's. Early in his legal career with "one of the old-line San Francisco law firms", he was assigned to The Sea Ranch project. Reverdy says, "I had just seen the property from Highway 1and was enthused by the prospect of working on it. The day after President Kennedy was shot, my wife and I needed time and space for our own mourning so we drove to Eureka by way of 101 and back the next day along the coast. The hedgerows and ranch gates of Del Mar Ranch were immediately etched in my memory."
- Emmett DeMoss - first marketing director at The Sea Ranch for real estate sales. Not yet finished with his education at Stanford, Emmett scored a meeting with the President of Oceanic Properties in Hawaii. There was an indication that they might be buying property in Northern California for development purposes, the Rancho Del Mar. Emmett "was able to identify the exact property he was speaking about because for the last three to four years I spent countless hours flying the California coast and I fell in love with the area north of San Francisco...They finally decided to buy the property and I was the first Oceanic employee on the mainland, and ipso facto, the first Sea Ranch project manager."
- Russ Ohlson - additional stories to share.
- Diane Boeke- moved to TSR in the late 1960s when development was in full swing. Diane was employed by Castle & Cooke in Honolulu and subsequently for Oceanic Properties. "I was a member of the support team directly involved in the discovery, study, and acquisition of lands for appropriate community development, among which was the Del Mar property, which eventually became The Sea Ranch. I worked closely with Al Boeke, who was charged with the early planning of The Sea Ranch, and the selection of its ultimate development team, which included Halprin, Turnbull, Moore, Esherick, and others. I left Oceanic in 1964. Al and I were married in 1965."
- Al and Diana Edgerton - bought property here in 1965 and still own the house they built on that lot. Al looks back when he recalls his and Diana's fatefull decision to take Highway 1 up the coast from Alameda on their way to Elk. "It was the weekend The Sea Ranch was selling the Esherick houses. We stopped, looked, and were excited about what was being offered. We came back after our weekend in Elk and picked out the lot we wanted. We think we made a good choice, so do our children and our grandchildren...As Elaine Stritch would say, "I'm still here. Al's wife, Diana, also remembers that trip. "The units in Condominium One and the "Inglenook" Esherick houses were for sale; the largest of the latter with three bedrooms had a price of $42,500. For that price you could buy a very good house in the Bay Area."
- Question and Answer Session - questions from the audience for the panelists.