In 1997, Ruth Quayle Boone bequeathed the 16-acre Boone family farm known as Forest Home Farms, at 19953 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, to the City of San Ramon for use as a municipal historic park in memory of her husband, Travis Moore Boone. After Ruth Boone’s death in 1998 at the age of 94, the City expanded the memorial to include Ruth, in honor of her generosity to the people of San Ramon and in recognition of the contribution women made to agriculture in the San Ramon Valley.
In light of the recent, widespread development of agricultural lands for residential subdivisions in Contra Costa County and the rise of land values, the gift was extraordinary. Frequently approached by developers who wished to purchase the farm for subdivision, Mrs. Boone chose instead to preserve Forest Home Farms in perpetuity and give this large parcel of land to the people of San Ramon so that they too could enjoy the beauty of the property. The City accepted the property with the vision and foresight to recognize its potential as a regional open space that could provide recreational and educational opportunities possibly unsurpassed in the rapidly changing landscape of Contra Costa County.
The 16-acre farm is located at the base of the East Bay Hills and Oak Creek divides it in two almost equal parts. The northern portion of the site contains all of the structures built or used by the Boone’s, except for the cistern that sits atop a hill on the southwest corner. The structures include 2 houses, fourteen outbuildings and two pergolas. The houses represent almost a century of residential development in the valley. The Boone House is a 22-room Dutch colonial that was remodeled several times since it was built in 1900. This home will eventually serves as offices and meeting center. The fourteen outbuildings vary significantly in date and size, including a barn originally built in the period from 1850 to 1860, a 7000 square-foot farm equipment and automobile storage structure and a three-building walnut processing plant that includes a three-story hulling and drying structure.
The southern portion of the property is now home to the Glass House Museum, a Victorian style home and its tank house built in 1877. This home was relocated from its original site at Lora Nita Farm. The Glass House is a two-story, wood frame dwelling with a one-story rear wing, which may be older than the main body of the house. The tank house, somewhat modified from historic condition, is a two-story, wood-frame structure that is probably slightly later in date than the house. The Glass House has recently been restored to its original beauty and is open for tours and a Victorian Life education program.
History of the Boone Family and Forest Home Farms Video
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|Watch this 15 minute video as Ruth Boone tells the story of Forest Home Farms and why she dedicated the land to the City of San Ramon. >>Download Transcript|
Explore Forest Home Farms Historic Park Online