The Gilman Historic Ranch and Wagon Museum preserves, celebrates, and interprets the late 1800’s history of California, from the Cahuilla Indians to the exploration and settlement of southern California and the San Gorgonio Pass, including the homestead ranch of James Marshall Gilman.
Come and take a tour of the historic Gilman Ranch. On the ranch visitors will find authentic sheds that were used for olive curing, storing milk and housing a carriage. Also nearby are the ruins of the Jose Pope Adobe house that the Gilmans lived in before their ranch house was built. Inside the Victorian style ranch house, visitors will find items originally owned by the Gilmans, family photographs and various other household items of the era.
Picnic tables and barbeque grills are shaded by olive trees that were planted by the Gilmans over 100 years ago, and are bordered by a green lawn to play or picnic on, making it an ideal setting to relax. Scattered across the lawn are a variety of fruit and nut trees for the visitor to experience. This includes olives, white figs, black figs, plums, apricots, blood oranges, naval oranges, tangerines, walnuts, persimmons, pomegranates, lemons and grapefruit. Nearby are short hiking trails that give incredible views of the Banning Pass. A creek that runs year-round is a very short distance away, which wildlife like deer, bears, coyotes and bobcats drink from.
In close proximity to the ranch house is the location of the infamous murder of a young woman’s father by Willie Boy, a young Paiute Native American. A visit from President Taft to the Riverside area around the same time led the public to believe that his life was in danger. The murder received national press coverage, and one of the last infamous manhunts in the United States followed. Even though many versions of this story exist, one version was captured in the film “Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here” which starred Robert Redford and was filmed in part at the Gilman Ranch.
The Ranch also has a museum that displays a collection of authentic wagons, including an overland stagecoach, a “prairie schooner,” and a chuck wagon. Saddles are also on display, such as one that Buffalo Bill used in his famous Wild West Shows. In addition to the artifacts, visitors can gain insight to life during the Western Frontier when they read about the grueling journey west through the diary entries of a Kansas woman, Helen McCowen Carpenter. Inside the museum is an affordable gift shop, with unique items.
Participating in blacksmithing classes and a variety of other programs are more fun and informative ways to explore the Old West! Make reservations to learn more about the California Gold Rush, where you pan for fool’s gold (Pyrite), or the Native American program, where you have hands on experience of native american lifestyle, and learn more about life on a ranch through our program Home On The Range.
You can pick up a park brochure at the Riverside County Park District Headquarters, or you can drop into the park and check it out.
- Gift Shop
- Blacksmith Classes
- California Gold Rush Program
- Home On The Range Program
- Native Americans of the Pass Program
- Gilman Ranch Tours
- Displays of Authentic Wagons
- Authentic Diary Entries
- Historic Murder Scene
- Original Stage Coach Road
- Picnic Area and Barbeques
- Hiking Trails & Creek
- Pet Friendly
- “Ranch Hands” Support Group
- Volunteer Opportunities
Adults – $3.00 each
Children 12yrs. and younger – $2.00 each
Dogs – $1.00 each
Programs and Tours for groups of 10 people or more by appointment only Tuesdays through Fridays (prices vary).