Points of Interest

1 STONE HOUSE (paymaster’s house) For

years, Henry Cowell paid his men only once a year; the
payroll would be brought from San Francisco, secured
overnight in the stone house, and distributed to workers
the next day. By the 1890s, when paydays were once a
month, the stone house became the commissary, where
employees bought Levis, work boots, and other supplies.

2 GRANARY Seed from barley and oats grown on

the ranch were stored in the granary. The original route
of Bay Street—called Lime Kiln Road in the 1850s and
’60s—followed what is now Cardiff Place up from the
bay. Lime Kiln Road crossed High Street and ran between
the granary and the stone house, where it served as
the main entrance to the lime works. Ox-drawn wagons
loaded with barrels of lime followed this route to the
company wharf at the end of Bay Street.

3 HORSE BARN (Barn Theater) Henry’s son,

Harry Cowell, was fond of animals, especially cattle and
horses. This barn probably housed the draft horses that
did the heavy work on the ranch. Riding horses were kept
in the carriage house (#18). The university converted the
barn to a theater in 1968.

4 COOK HOUSE (Admissions Office) The

Cowell ranch produced most of the food needed for its
workers, who were fed in a communal dining room in
the ranch’s cook house. The kitchen had a huge wood
stove (still present) and a sink. A small screened shed at
the south end of the building served as the meat cooler,
while a cluster of outbuildings and animal pens in front
housed small stock (as evidenced by a pig feeder—the
round concrete structure located near the front door).

5 QUARRIES Across the street from the cook house,

at the Campus Main Entry kiosk, is one of several
quarries on campus where limerock was obtained.

6, 7 WORKERS’ CABINS Across the street from

the cook house is the site of five workers’ cabins (6), all of
which are being restored. Three more workers’ cabins (7)
were located on the hill behind the cook house. In 1870,
37 workers (including quarrymen, lime burners, coopers,
teamsters, two cooks, and laborers) lived in cabins on the
lime works site.

8 COOPERAGE Here, workers assembled barrels

used to ship lime to market. After being filled with lime,
the barrels were placed in wagons and hauled down what
is now Bay Street to be loaded onto outgoing ships.

9, 10 THE BAY STREET KILNS The lime kiln

complex adjacent to Coolidge Drive consists of three
pot kilns (9), each with four doorways, and a single,
taller continuous kiln (10). To make lime in the pot
kilns, limerock was loaded in from above, and wood for
fuel was fed through the doorways below. After about
five days of firing, the rock was converted into lime.
When cool, the chunks of lime were removed through
the doorways and packed into barrels for shipment.

11 TRESTLE In 1860, Davis and Jordan built a tramway

with cars to transport limerock and cordwood down
Jordan Gulch to the kilns. The stone abutments are from
a later trestle.

12 BLACKSMITH SHOP During its heyday, the

ranch employed a full-time blacksmith. Used for blacksmithing
until the early 1950s, it is now an art studio.

13 HAY BARN Framed using large timbers with

mortise-and-tenon joints secured by wooden pegs, this
barn may date from the 1860s. Recent archaeological
digs uncovered domestic debris from the same period.

14 POWDER HOUSE Blasting powder kept in this

structure—one of the earliest lime works buildings—
was used to dislodge deposits of limerock in the quarries.

15 JORDAN GULCH The powder house lies at the

edge of Jordan Gulch. The tramway ran along the gulch
to connect several Cowell Ranch quarries with the kilns.

16, 17 BULL BARN (Barn G) and BARN H

This structure sheltered the many oxen used at the
ranch and lime works. The Cowells persisted in using
oxen long after other ranches had switched to horses.
Another (17) large barn (Barn H) was remodeled for
administrative use by the university.

18 CARRIAGE HOUSE Once a drive-through barnlike

structure, it now houses UC administrative offices.
The Cowells kept their riding horses and carriages here.
19 CARDIFF SHED A small storage shed near
the end of the Carriage House, dating from the 1860s,
has been disassembled temporarily for restoration.

20 RANCH HOUSE (Cardiff House) This was

built in 1864 for Albion P. Jordan, an original owner of the
lime works. After Henry Cowell purchased Jordan’s half
of the works in 1865, Cowell moved in with his wife,
Harriet, and five children. The Cowells lived here until
1879 and, although they owned many California properties,
always considered this their home ranch. George
Cardiff, Cowell Foundation property manager, later lived
in the house. It is now the UCSC Women’s Center.

21 ENTRY GATE The driveway that runs from

the ranch house front porch to High Street was the
carriage entry for the house. At the end of the drive, a
white picket fence with elaborate white-painted wooden
gate posts marks the original “owner’s entrance” to
the Cowell property.