It's On The Market: Hollywood-Favored Dude Ranch Hacienda in Desert Hot Springs
As soon as Lucien Hubbard and his son-in-law, Charles Bender, purchased 240 acres of land in the Coachella Valley in 1927, the same year he received the first “Best Picture” award from the Motion Picture Academy for their film Wings, which was centered around World War I. Their plan was to build an exclusive Western-themed resort on the land.
For the first decade, the B-Bar-H Ranch (the name of the ranch came from the initials of its founders) was an invitation-only club, which enjoyed a high level of popularity among Hollywood's A-listers in its first decade.
The guest book of the ranch was filled with a variety of famous names, such as Gary Cooper, Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Joan Crawford, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and the Marx Brothers. The guest book could have easily been used as an autograph book as well.
Although it wasn't surprising that the idea of a rustic dude ranch getaway seemed only to appeal to the showbiz set as a getaway, the resort eventually opened its doors to the general public in 1937. In one of the property's advertisements, it was stated, “At B-BAR-H, you won’t have to deal with Cads or Jags, you won’t have to deal with high-gloss neon for low-hanging stars, you won’t have to deal with high-gloss neon.
Besides swimming in natural, warm mineral water, enjoying the finest cuisine, tasting the ultimate mixologist’s art if you like, and you can sleep in spacious cottages nestled among tamarisk and palm trees.
Desert Hot Springs, however, was eventually deserted by even the common folk as they preferred Palm Springs, which was hip and happening. In 1950, the B-Bar-H closed down, and the land on which it stood was subsequently divided and subdivided.
While most of the ranch's original land has been planted with modern housing projects over the years, some vestiges of the ranch's former glory still remain, such as the quaint hacienda on the market that was once the ranch's principal residence. Among the eight guest cottages of the B-Bar-H, there was a Spanish-style home built in 1945 that served as one of the accommodations.
In this 1,679-square-foot bungalow, you'll find either a shotgun or railroad-style layout with four entrances to choose from. There are three bedrooms and three bathrooms in the house as well as a living room, dining room, and kitchen that are clustered in its east end of the house. The rest of the house consists of four bedrooms.
Several period details can be found throughout the home, including two kiva-style fireplaces with stone chimneys, beamed ceilings, Saltillo tile floors, French doors, clerestory windows, arched doorways, carved plaster niches, and both new electric and plumbing systems have been installed.
The well-landscaped grounds of the house contain a steel "cowboy" pool, a fire pit, and a raised dining patio as well as citrus trees such as grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, and olive, a carport, and a storage shed.