By Michael Russo
Francisco Garces explored its land, famed Indian fighter Kit Carson and notorious bandit Joaquin Murieta roamed the area and Gen. Edward Fitzgerald Beale owned it. Later on, his son, Truxtun, sold it to Los Angeles Times publisher Harry Chandler. In recent years, 90 percent of its land has been set aside for environmental conservation.
It is Tejon Ranch.
At 270,000 acres and strategically located between Southern California and the Central Valley, it is the “largest contiguous expanse of private property in California.”
The recently released book “Tejon Ranch: Preserving the Legacy of a California Treasure” is a handsome, hardbound coffee table book written by San Francisco corporate communications consultant Delphine Hirasuna. Much of the book’s 83 pages are devoted to full-color plates of the land as it is today, as well as photographs taken in 1888 by early Western photographer Carleton Watkins.
Produced in part as a marketing piece for Tejon Ranch, locals will enjoy the informative historical sketch and the sweeping photography. This attractive edition makes an ideal gift and is a fine addition to one’s local history collection.
— Michael Russo, co-owner of Russo’s Books at The Marketplace