This is how the adobe ranch house looks from the entrance of Rancho del Cielo. Visitors are usually surprised by its modesty and simplicity. It is no Hollywood designer house.
Indeed, the original part of the ranch house was built in 1871 by Hispanic settlers named the Picos. When the Reagans enlarged it, the interior grew only to 1,500 square feet. It retains a rustic feel to this day, heated by one fireplace in the den and another in the living room. Often it is chillier in the house than in the sun outside.
Photos and text © Gleaves Whitney 2004