Heritage Park's Carriage Barn once housed horses and carriages. Today it contains a museum filled with turn-of-the-century artifacts and memorabilia. Built in 1880 by a Midwesterner named Hawkins, the Carriage Barn was reconstructed in 1987 based on a photograph taken 100 years earlier.
Entitled "When the Air Was Pure and Money Grew on Trees," the Carriage Barn exhibition is designed to show how life was led in this region during the period 1880-1920. It is divided into sections or sets that illustrate the subjects of transportation (Horse and Buggy Days), education (Little Lake School Days), making a living (A Living from the Land), recreation and technology (Inventing a Better Life) and homemaking (Keeping a Home). Also in the exhibition is the Santa Fe Springs Mercantile, a four-passenger surrey, and a time line.
Tankhouse Windmill Building
Farmers once pumped ground water out of these buildings, using the wind for pumping power. The restored tankhouse at Heritage Park could still do this job today if necessary. The Windmill was constructed in 1880 in a Carpenter Gothic style to match the Carriage Barn.
The Plant Conservatory
English country gentlemen once built these structures as nurseries for their exotic hot house plants. Around 1870, Missouri transplant Eli Hawkins built one at his estate too. The Conservatory is a plant-filled room perfect for reflection and a popular backdrop for wedding ceremonies.
The noisiest place to be at Heritage Park! Numerous pampered birds keep the area around the aviary filled with song. The aviary was added to the estate around 1916 by the last private owner, Margaret Slusher.
Long before the United States included California, a Mexican named Patricio Ontiveros lived in an adobe home he built close to where the Carriage Barn now stands. Archaeologists found the stone foundation of the home in the 1980s. Nearby they discovered a huge trashpit filled with the bones of cattle slaughtered on the rancho and the family's household trash. Both the foundation and a trashpit exhibit will bring you in touch with the state's Rancho period.
If you have any questions or comments about Heritage Park, e-mail us.