Restoration and repairs of the barns and stables has been ongoing for three decades. Originally built as a dairy at the beginning of the previous century, the barns were converted for horses in the 1950’s. The Indoor Arena was created by removing the cow stalls entirely, opening the space for a small riding arena.
In the 1980’s, a series of violent storms weakened the riding arena structure, causing the National Park Service to declare it off limits for public use. The arena was completely rebuilt by the NPS in 2003 and re-opened.
The rickety small eight-horse barn on the south side was re-united with its foundation in 2005, and the stalls re-floored. The Center restored a room in the main barn for use as a classroom for interpretive programs and activities. The main barn north wall was restored with wood panels, replacing the corrugated metal panels which had become dislodged and rusted.
The stables at Miwok house 42 horses, most of which work for the public in lessons and guided trail rides. MSC is committed to providing strong, safe stalls, clean underfoot, and dry overhead. This takes constant repair and maintenance, roof patching, gutter mending, and replacing of rotted beams.
The financial cost is considerable. Beyond the abilities of the National Park Service, the cost must be borne by the philanthropic generosity of the community.
Red Barn Project
The red barn is a charming example of early California ranch buildings. It suffered from severe weather, time, and the loss of its west wall due to storm damage and neglect over the years.
For years, MSC sought donations to fully restore the red barn, rebuilding the structure so it could be used for Park programs. We felt that the red barn could be made into a self-guided walk- through museum, with displays of ranch history, flora fauna, and horses, providing the visiting public with an informative and entertaining activity at the stables.
In 2011, the National Park Service incorporated the Red Barn into a new footprint plan as part of broadsweeping changes proposed in t new Equestrian Plan for the GGNRA. The Red Barn has been re-sided, roofed and repainted by the NPS and volunteers from Chico State. Further improvements are being planned for public use.Next