"Oak Springs Ranch 3"
12" x 18"
60 # paper
available framed or unframed
date completed: 7/14/2016
catalog # 0052
"Oak Springs Ranch 3"
This is one of my most favorite subjects, an old broken down building in Wildomar, California. This old structure sits in a ravine just north of the Ilocal medical center. I discovered it while walking up the outside staircase. An opening looked out onto the ravine and the shack and a huge dead tree. I immediately thought of "Robbers Roost" and the "hanging tree".
I returned several times to photograph the dilapidated building and the giant tree, as well as the other structures around. Fascinated with what this place might have been, I looked on a topographical map of the area. Last updated in 1980, the map did not have the road or nearby freeway. At about the correct spot appeared the name "Oak Springs Ranch". Housing developments and a shopping center use the name "Oak Creek", so I am sure that is what it was called.
Of its history, I still have yet to research. A couple told me they thought it was a cattle grazing station of the gauchos, and that there is a similar place a few miles north. In one of my forays into the ravine, I found a sign laying on the ground that said "Trail Rides". This could also be a clue as to its history, a dude ranch.
During a huge thunderstorm, the top third of the tree fell down. The building, with people pulling boards off and vandalizing it, eventually collapsed with noting but the roof sticking up. The City of Wildomar enclosed the area with a wrought iron fence and a hiking trail, along which are placed plaques that suggest at the history of the old building.
This 12" x 18" graphite drawing, the best of the numerous versions, took Best in Show at the Riverside County Fair at the Perris Fairgrounds in October 2018, in the amateur division, pencil category, building subject.
It also took first place in Hemet Vallery Art Association's competition, October 2020, the first time I entered in the Gold category.
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