MacMurray Ranch

Ranch History

Previous Next
The Porters were one of the first pioneer families to settle in the Russian River Valley where they farmed for three generations.
George & his farm hands drying prunes.An early view of Westside Road.The second Porter house.
In addition to the renovation of the Porter homes, Fred built barns and auxiliary buildings to support his extensive diversified farming program.
View of the completed ranch - barns, split rails, and the rambling ranch house.Renovating and restoring the Porter homes.The ranch house restored.
Take a peek at
Kate MacMurray's journal

An Excerpt from Kate's Journal

Fly fishing brought my father, the late actor Fred MacMurray, to the Russian River Valley in the late 1930's. The majestic Redwoods shrouded in fog, the crystal clear streams and the fast moving currents of the Russian River reminded him of his ancestral Scotland. On one of his fishing trips, he was introduced to the Porter family, one of the first pioneer families to settle in the valley. Daddy was able to buy the Porter Ranch in 1941 at the age of 32.
Fred's diversified farming included Milking Shorthorns, Romeldale Sheep, Rhode Island laying hens, orchards & vegetable gardens.
Fred cooling off in the creek.A 4-H event at the ranch.A prized Romeldale.
Take a peek at
Kate MacMurray's journal

An Excerpt from Kate's Journal

MacMurray Ranch mirrors the history of agriculture in Northern California. The Porters harvested and dried plums; Daddy, prompted by the needs of World War II, designed a diversified farming program and as the demand for beef grew, he introduced Scottish Black Angus cattle to the ranch, another nod to his Scottish heritage. And in the future, the landscape would eventually be transformed again - this time to vineyards that would produce world-class Pinot Noirs, Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris. Daddy's interests at the ranch always reflected the agricultural needs through the years.
Fred spent nineteen years breeding & improving the great Angus breed beginning with the imported bull, Pyros of Islip, from Scotland.
A view of the cattle ranch from Porter Creek.Kate, age 5, riding a rail, in front of the horse barn.Fred & June at the ranch, shortly after their marriage.
Hollywood on and off the ranch with some dear old friends.
Fred & June on their honeymoon on location for the film Far Horizons.Fred & June reading a script on the front porch of the ranch house.
Take a peek at
Kate MacMurray's journal

An Excerpt from Kate's Journal

Daddy grew up in Wisconsin and his musical talent led him to Hollywood, where his career in acting spanned over fifty successful years in theater, radio, film and eventually television. It was in Hollywood, on a picture prophetically titled, Where Do We Go From Here, that he met my mother, the actress June Haver. Although he loved filmmaking and his career as an actor, his heart always found its way back home to his beloved ranch, where he raised his family and found the solitude and quiet that renewed and refreshed his soul. He always said he was a lucky man. Indeed he was. And I was a lucky daughter to have known him.
A loving restoration of the homestead that honors its history, preserved its furnishings and restored its spirit.
The restored ranch house.The barn back on the ground.A view of the vineyards from the upper valley.Stabilizing the horse barn.