A rich history may be found at Mission Ranch, as can be found in the career of successful movie star and director Clint Eastwood. He, like many other men who had come to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, in the past, was taken with the old ranch. Following his success in revamping the film and television industries, as well as the town of Carmel, he set out to rehabilitate the aging Mission Ranch property. It wasn’t simple, and it wasn’t cheap, but he managed to pull it off.
Clint Eastwood was only 21 years old when he first walked through the doors of the Mission Ranch. The young man was looking for a relaxing environment where he could eat something reasonably priced. At the time, he had been recruited to the adjacent Fort Ord, which was a good fit for him. Initially, the structures in Mission Ranch were a combination of the Fort Ord officers’ club and a dairy farm, which is in stark contrast to what they are today.
Eastwood worked as a lumberjack prior to being conscripted, and he did not have many ideas about what he would do after being discharged from the army. His initial reaction, when entering the ranch, was one of instantaneous affection for it.
“I thought the site was amazing the first time I saw it,” he tells Architectural Digest about the building. “It looked different visually, and I felt it looked like a location I’d like to call home. Carmel became something of a family member to me.
Located on the lush wetlands at the confluence of the Carmel River and the Pacific, The Mission Ranch is a spectacular piece of land. In addition to amazing views of the sea, the ranch also boasts scenic views of the Monterey coastline and the dramatic curve of the beach, as you might expect. The fact that this location is considered one of the most beautiful in northern California is no surprise.
Additionally, the area is home to a large herd of goats, horses, and sheep that may be seen grazing in the lush pasture beneath strands of eucalyptus and oak. Without a doubt, it’s impossible to overlook herons and ducks scurrying about along the riverbank.
A little more than 40 years later, the young boy who was charmed has grown into one of the most well-known and successful actors and directors in the world. In addition to the roles in “Honkytonk Man” and “Dirty Harry,” his vicious, chiseled smile and grizzled chin have led to a plethora of other notable performances. His Oscar-winning performance in the revisionist western “Unforgiven” was well-deserved. Today, this legendary actor is the proud new owner of the Mission Ranch, which has been elegantly renovated.
While living in Los Angeles in the 1960s, Clint Eastwood appeared in an episode of the popular television series “Rawhide,” which starred him. By that point, he had already purchased his first home in Monterey. Soon after, he made the decision to relocate permanently to California’s rocky central coast.
Eastwood was an avid golfer who had a lot of fun on the course. He was a regular visitor to the Pebble Beach Golf Course, which is located on Carmel Bay. This is the location where the first film he directed was shot, and it was loaded with pictures of the rocky Monterey Peninsula, which is where he now lives.
According to Eastwood, “I just gradually became a part of the community.” The experience in Carmel provided me with a fresh perspective on the film industry. During the 1980s, Eastwood made the decision to renovate a certain structure in the heart of his downtown.
Regrettably, he was denied permission to proceed with the project by the Carmel municipal council. He realized that other low-income residents of Carmel had experienced the same fate as him and that they had been denied the ability to repair their homes and businesses as well. Almost like something out of a movie, this man mounted his horse to defend the powerless and protect the vulnerable. The legal process began, and Eastwood was victorious. After a year, he decided to run for mayor of the town.
“We were unable to find someone else to do it… So, after a few glasses of wine, I decided to go ahead and do it. “I made the decision to win because I am a very determined guy,” he revealed to Architectural Digest.
Eastwood did everything he could, which included knocking on doors, talking to people at a number of coffee klatches, and conducting demonstrations in support of the cause. It should come as no surprise when he was elected President of the United States by an overwhelming margin in 1986.
Despite the fact that Eastwood was doing well in politics and as a person, the Mission Ranch was in financial trouble. After many years of neglect, the ranch was quickly succumbing to the termites’ ravaging. While its walls were collapsing, its screens were rusting and deteriorating. Eastwood sat at his new home in Carmel, California, and watched the ranch deteriorate. He stood by and watched as the wetlands encroached on the polo field and swimming pool of the former club. The restaurant and hotel had been transformed into a seedy haven for shady couples and itinerant merchants.
Eastwood decided to pay a visit to have a closer look at the situation. The first thing he noticed was a number of shattered windows and flaking paint. Notably, some of the windows had been painted black during World War II, which was a unique feature. The citizens of Carmel were bracing themselves for an invasion and attack by the Japanese from across the marshes at the time.
Carmel-by-the-Sea was the spiritual hub of Alta California in 1771. This was the time when Father Junipero Serra built the San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, which is now an attractive neighbor to Mission Ranch. In case you were wondering, the area was first occupied by the Spaniards during the 18th century when they transformed Monterey into the capital of Alta California. The territory encompassed the area between San Diego and Baja California, in Mexico.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Carmel also provided a haven for a significant group of writers and artists from across the Western world. Robinson built his Tor tower above the Pacific, and there isn’t a writer who hasn’t lived and written in the quiet, Carmel climate, from Upton Sinclair to Sinclair Lewis.
The farmhouse was built in the 1850s by one of the earliest families to settle on the Monterey peninsula. There were six guest rooms in all. The house was renovated 45 years later, and it was converted into a two-story residence.
In 1879, Robert Louis Stevenson was only 29 years old when he landed in Monterey. His aim was to earn the affections of the beautiful Fanny Osbourne, who was at the moment married to another man and thereby win her heart. Despite the fact that he was helplessly wandering about the rocky shore and wooded hills, the lovesick, young writer found himself charmed by San Carlos Borromeo. When the Spaniards were ousted from the mission, it had been abandoned for a long time. According to the destitute young guy, “the church is roofless and decaying… sea breezes and sea fog, as well as the alternation of rain and sunshine, every day deepening the breeches.”
Stevenson, in his impassioned pursuit of fame and love, walked beyond the mission and paced the grassland and beach right at the mouth of the Carmel River, before climbing the rocky cliffs of Point Loma.
Robert Louis Stevenson returned to England, maybe as a result of being highly influenced by love at the time. Eventually, his view of the Mission Ranch and Point Lobos served as the inspiration for the film Treasure Island, which was released in 2008. He also married Fanny Osbourne, who later became his wife.
A developer became interested in the ranch almost 100 years later, in 1986, and proposed to build condominiums on the property. Eastwood purchased the entire 22-acre property, as well as the dilapidated structures on it, for $5 million just a few months before he purchased it.
“I had always admired the location, and they were simply planning to demolish it.” They said that it was no longer in use. ‘I believed that the building should be kept in its original form,’ he told Architectural Digest.
Robert Louis Stevenson and Junpero Serra were among the persons who left their stamp on the tiny cove in the Pacific, and he became a member of that short dynasty of men that included Robert Louis Stevenson and Junpero Serra. The Mission Ranch was not a pleasant sight for anyone unless they were either too nostalgic or obstinate in their opposition to it. The entire wiring system had been wrecked, and the plumbing system had been destroyed. As a matter of fact, the pipes were leaking so badly that around 40% of the gas was being wasted beneath the floor.
It’s like the bear climbing a hill to view the next hill and the next hill once you open up a spot like this… ”
“It never comes to an end,” Eastwood explains.
When it comes to preservation, there’s a tremendous difference between doing it yourself and pushing for it.” “It’s a very different experience when you put your money where your mouth is,” Eastwood rapidly learned. The owner has already invested a couple of million dollars, and he claims that even if the ranch doesn’t make a profit, he will consider it a big success.
At the time, the Mission Ranch’s shining structures house 31 premium guest rooms, as well as a modern restaurant and bar, and it continues to provide some of the most spectacular vistas in California. Eastwood is still in the process of creating tennis courts and contemporary fitness centers.
Eastwood made the decision to bring on Alan Williams as a consultant to assist with the remodeling. Alan is employed by the Carmel Development Corporation, which is a company that specializes in the restoration of historic buildings. The chimneys were restored by a mason who had previously worked on the restoration of the Mission San Carlos Borromeo. When the ranch needed furniture, he brought in a few items from movie sets that had seen better days.
A lot of the quilts and floral arrangements were inspired by Frances Fisher, who worked with Clint Eastwood on the film “Unforgiven.”
“She is more concerned with the minutiae, whereas I am more concerned with the overall picture,” Eastwood observes.
Eastwood enlisted the help of Edgar Broyhill, a North Carolina-based furniture manufacturer, to procure more substantial furnishings for his home. Mission Ranch Collection was created by Broyhill, a buddy he met on the golf course and who also happens to be the designer of the collection. “The furniture in a space is what gives it its personality… “I wanted this furniture to have a strong feel to it, but I also wanted it to be quite comfortable,” Eastwood admitted. According to Broyhill, the emphasis of the collection is on physical comfort, which is why he included a large number of deep cushions as well as functionality. He made it clear that he was not attempting to make a fashion statement in any way.
Eastwood is a well-liked character not only on the ranch but also in the surrounding community of Carmel. He is, on the other hand, a very secretive and introverted individual. According to him, he is not the kind to be a “jolly host.” Instead, he is a modest and pleasant man who readily acknowledges the contributions of others while downplaying his own personal achievements. Because of his shambles and sloppy attire, the individual is practically identifiable in this photograph. He enjoys being in the air, which is perhaps why he owns and operates his own helicopter business.
Clint Eastwood has been engaged in more than 30 films by the time he is 90 years old. It appears that the love affair he began with the small town has blossomed into a passionate union of worldly power and natural beauty, as he has discovered.
“Carmel is out of this world… The location has a way of getting into your blood. You always feel like you’re coming home when you return here after a long period of absence.
When Eastwood first visited the Mission Ranch, it was evident that it would become his life’s work. It is currently on the verge of being completed. It’s something he should be proud of, in my opinion.