This collection contains one photograph album and thirty-five loose photographs depicting the Fair Oaks Ranch, in Altadena,
California, during the late 19th century.
The ranch, owned by businessman and rancher James F. Crank, encompassed a vineyard, winery, and citrus orchards, along with
a lavish residence and grounds.
Subjects include interior and exterior views
of the residence; the Crank family; Chinese agricultural
workers and ranch hands in the vineyard; winery operations; fruit orchards; and trees and plant life on the property. Photographs
in the album are cyanotype prints; the
loose photographs include cyanotypes, cabinet cards, and stereographs.
The Fair Oaks Ranch property (now in modern day Pasadena and Altadena, California) was originally part of the Rancho San Pasqual.
Eliza Griffin Johnston purchased
the property in 1862 from her brother Dr. John S. Griffin, who had large land holdings in the Los Angeles area. Eliza Johnston
named the ranch “Fair Oaks” after
her hometown in West Virginia, but left California after only two years following the death of her son, Albert S. Johnston
II. In 1877, Benjamin S. Eaton took
over the property , subdivided the ranch, and sold the northern parcel to businessman James F. Crank (1842-1935) in 1877.
Crank had recently moved to Los Angeles, California, from the East Coast with his wife,
Mary Agnes Crank (1846-1932), and son, Albert F. Crank (1870-1933).
Crank proceeded to plant vineyards and fruit
orchards and built a Victorian mansion on the property in 1882. In 1885, he constructed a winery and the next year started
the Sierra Madre Vintage Company.
Crank was also president of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley Railroad. He hit financial hard times and sold the ranch
96 photographs (including duplicates) in 1 box : prints
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