23 December 2017

The Gaines and Brown Families of Carbon Canyon, Part 7: Christmas Greetings from the Flying Cow Ranch

As we head into the Christmas holiday and approach the New Year, it seems like a good time for a new post featuring photographs, provided by Joyce Harrington, of her ancestors in the Gaines family, owners of the Flying Cow Ranch where Olinda Village is today.

One nice item is a Christmas real photo postcard sent by the family--real photo postcards were very popular in the 1910s and this one shows the family posed in front of their Craftsman-style ranch house, which stood where the Hollydale Mobile Home Estates is located on south side of Carbon Canyon Road at the junction of Carbon and Soquel canyons.

There are so many great photos of the Flying Cow Ranch, so let's include a few, showing just how rural the place was decades ago when traffic on Carbon Canyon Road during a day would number probably double digits or maybe low triple digits and you were more likely to hear cattle lowing than a car audio system blowing.

First, the holidays are, of course, a time to celebrate with family and friends, so, while the second photo shown here, probably from about he 1920s judging from the car, clothing and hair styles, was not likely during the Christmas season, though it could have been, it is easy to imagine the Gaines' inviting folks to come out to the ranch to emjoy some rural yuletide cheer with hikes, horse rides and other outdoor activities.

Then, a major part of celebrating Christmas or any major holiday is to have a feast, there is a cool image here on a barbeque held on the ranch.  There are certainly times when Christmas day is sunny and seasonable, so having a holiday barbeque (check out that set up for cooking) outdoors would have been a possibility, though it is unlikely the photo was taken in December!

Finally, the Gaines family home probably hosted plenty of fun indoor gatherings with carols sung, meals eaten, and presents opened by a Christmas tree near a roaring fire (though, again, this is just general guesswork.)  The last photo shows the family hosting the Thompsons and the group gathered on the front porch with the neat rustic stone porch posts and the ca. 1910s car in the background as some fun details.

Meantime, enjoy your Christmas holiday and check back in a few days for more Carbon Canyon history through the reminiscences of David Purington, whose family founded Sleepy Hollow in the 1920s.

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