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Huntington Beach Landmark - Newland House

A cache by Mike & Heather Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 10/23/2008
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

The Newland House Museum is the oldest surviving residence in the city of Huntington Beach and is maintained by the Huntington Beach Historical Society for all to see.

You are looking for a magnetic camo'd Altoids tin hidden in a way you've probably seen many times. Please use stealth. The cache is easy to find but is in a very exposed area.

The restored home of Huntington Beach pioneers William T and Mary Juanita Newland is an 1898 Victorian farmhouse standing on high ground overlooking what was once known as the Santa Ana Gap, a marshy lowland between Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa. William and Mary Newland built the house and lived in it for over fifty years.

Midwesterners like the Newlands, who were from Illinois, were attracted to California during the "Boom of the Eighties," when Los Angeles experienced phenomenal growth. Increased opportunities for farming as huge ranchos were subdivided, reduced railroad fares because of a rivalry between Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads and an intensive publicity campaign by Real Estate developers were contributing factors to the migrations.

First living in Northern California, the Newlands moved to a small farm in Compton. William decided to move again and leased land on the Irvine family's San Joaquin Rancho, raising grain for several years. The first to grow barley there, his success gained Newland the title of "Barley King."

The Newlands purchased the mesa now known as Newland Center around 1897. The original Newland ranch extended from Beach Blvd. to Magnolia and from Yorktown south to Atlanta for a total of 520 acres. Though it looked like one big lake with islands of tule grass and willows, Newland had the insight and vision to realize he could clear and drain it for farming. This fertile valley soon became recognized nation wide for the variety and excellence of its produce. Celery and sugar beets were key crops for the Newlands, although they also grew chili peppers and lima beans. Their success opened the door to many other farmers who chose to settle in what would soon be known as the Huntington Beach area.

The Newland House was described in 1899 as a modern nine-room, two-story cottage. It is believed to be the only example of Queen Anne Victorian architecture remaining in Huntington Beach. Santa Ana contractors Dawes and Kuechel were asked to integrate features and style reflecting the owners' Midwestern background into the house they built in 1898. The dominant feature of the original Newland House is its octagonal turret. With a magnificent view ranging from Signal Hill in Long Beach to Newport Beach, the turret room was originally planned as an office for Mr. Newland. He found it impractical to conduct his business there and Mrs. Newland turned it into a sewing room.

The Newland ranch on which the house sat had a vegetable garden, berry bushes, an orchard, cows, chickens, turkeys, goats and peacocks in the yard plus a working stock of mules and horses. Outbuildings included stables, barns, corrals and bunk houses for the ranch hands who numbered up to 50 during peak season. Water came from an artesian well and kerosene and wood were used for light and fuel for cooking before electricity was available.

The Newland farm was once the site of an ancient Indian village. The Newlands collected many artifacts found on the land. In 1930 the Works Progress Administration conducted an archaeological investigation of the mesa where the house stands and removed many artifacts. Additional excavations uncovered cog stones, shells and bone carbon dated at 5000 B.C. The site is a designated Orange County archeological site.

The Newlands were also community leaders. They bought stock in the West Coast Land and Water Company which plotted and sold the first lots in Pacific City, the town that became Huntington Beach in 1903. William held stock and served on the board of directors of Security Pacific Bank, the Huntington Beach News (the town’s first newspaper) and several industrial businesses. In 1906, he established the Huntington Beach Canning Company. Later he served on the Highway Commission when Pacific Coast Highway was extended from Long Beach to Dana Point. He also served on the South Coast Improvement District, the Board of Trade, and the School Board. Mary Newland also served on the School Board and founded the town’s first P.T.A.

The Newlands also made a major contribution in lobbying railroad magnate Henry Huntington to bring his Pacific Electric Railroad “red cars” to the area – a move that launched the local tourism industry and put Huntington Beach on the map.

In 1972, the Huntington Beach Historical Society was re-activated by the H.B. Junior Women’s Club for the purpose of restoring and preserving the badly-neglected Newland House. Over 200 city residents volunteered their time and talents to return the city’s oldest house from the brink. Today, the house is available to the public as a museum, depicting life in the earliest years of our community. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

The house is open for tours on Saturday & Sunday from noon to 4 PM, except holidays. Donations of $2 are requested. (Cache is outside the fence and is accessible 24 / 7 / 365)

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Zntargvp, hcfvqr qbja, snpvat Zbgure'f

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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