The Cultural History of Quail Hollow

Ohlones and Missions

If you traveled back in time 500 years, you would be immersed in the Ohlone culture. Although they did not live at Quail Hollow, these hunters and gatherers probably took advantage of the valley's abundant game and numerous edible plants like the oak acorn that was so important to their diet. The Mission culture that followed also did not live here – although the local Rancho Zayante's northern boundary could be found in the valley.

 

 

American Farming Tradition

The first, full-time human occupants to this land were Joseph and America Kenville who homesteaded 44 acres in 1866. Along with their 9 children, they began a 70-year farming tradition of growing everything from apples to melons. The Williams family bought the property next followed by the Grunigs who gave the farm its first recorded name: Sunkissed Ranch.

 

 

Sunset Comes to Quail Hollow

What does Sunset Magazine have in common with Quail Hollow? The Lane family. Larry and Ruth Lane bought this failing magazine in 1928, eventually turning it into the popular publication that it is today; and bought the ranch in 1937, turning it into a thriving horse ranch. They also gave the property a new name: Quail Hollow Ranch. At first the Lanes used the ranch as a vacation retreat, visiting and entertaining guests on weekends and holidays. But the ranch also served the magazine by becoming the site of test gardens and a test kitchen. The August 1948 issue featured the barns and in 1952 they began remodeling the ranch house in a way that only Sunset could imagine. Although the house was never featured, it reflected the ideas set forth in the magazine.

 

From Private to Public Hands

The Owen family bought the ranch in 1957, continuing the ranching tradition and later selling to Santa Clara County Office of Education. Santa Clara planned to develop an outdoor education site but was stalled when Prop 13 passed in the mid 1970s. They eventually sold the ranch to Santa Cruz County Parks in 1986. As a County Park, Quail Hollow enjoys a unique purpose as a nature preserve rather than the more common county recreation site.

 

 

 

 

Santa Cruz County Department of Parks, Open Space and Cultural Services
979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062
General Information (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
Phone: (831) 454-7901 • PRCweb@santacruzcounty.us