Newland House Museum

The Huntington Beach Historical Society manages the Newland House Museum, which is located at 19820 Beach Boulevard in Huntington Beach, California, 92648. It was built in 1898 by William Taylor Newland and Mary Juanita DeLapp Newland and is now a historical pioneer museum. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Dawes & Kuechel of Santa Ana, California built the house. One of the earliest homes built in the area, material for its construction was carried by horse-drawn cart from McFadden’s Wharf in Newport Beach, California. The gravel for the cement foundation was carried from what is now Huntington Shore’s beach.

The Newland ranch was more than 500 acres in size and had vegetable gardens, orchards, farm animals, and pet peacocks. The ranch’s gardens mostly produced celery and sugar beets, however other crops were also farmed. A big barn, stables, corrals, and bunkhouses for ranch laborers were among the outbuildings. Water was collected from a natural spring near the current intersection of Adams Avenue and Beach Boulevard in the early years. William Newland later established a water well and built a water tower near to the Newland House. The Huntington Beach Historical Society recreated the water tower in the back yard of the Newland House in the twenty-first century. Another interesting element of the site was the presence of an ancient Native American town, from which many artifacts were recovered.

Following Mary Juanita Newland’s death in 1952, the property was taken over by Signal Oil & Gas. For around 20 years, Signal Oil employed personnel at the house. Signal Oil had intended to use the area for an oil refinery, but that plan was scrapped owing to community opposition. Signal Oil established the Signal Landmark development firm and began plans for a commercial shopping mall on the site of the former Newland Rancho. In 1964, a community campaign was launched to preserve the Newland House as a local landmark and museum. Signal Landmark Homes gave the Newland House and surrounding land to the City of Huntington Beach for use as a historic park in 1974.

In 1976, the Huntington Beach Junior Women’s Club created a community-based historic preservation group. The Newland House initially became available for public tours in 1978. The City of Huntington Beach financially sponsored the historic preservation project in 1983, investing in the construction of the Newland Barn to provide event space. The Huntington Beach Historical Society continues to collaborate with the City of Huntington Beach on property use, maintenance, and community activities.

The Newland House celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1998. The Huntington Beach Historical Society attempted to acquire Mary Juanita Newland’s Native Californian basketry collection, which had been donated to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, in 1935. A number of archaic stone items, such as mortars and pestles, were discovered during the construction of the house, which was built on the site of a Native American settlement, in 1898. According to reports, the majority of those artifacts are also in the Bowers Museum collection. The disagreement was not settled, and the Mary Juanita Newland collection, as well as objects discovered at the Newland Rancho in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, remain in the Bowers Museum’s collection.

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