Last year, I fell in love with Cinderella Ranch houses. KayLynn Deveney’s All You Can Lose is Your Heart introduced me to Cinderella Ranches, and Barbara Miller Lane’s Houses for a New World only fueled my fascination.
Luckily for me, many Cinderella Ranch houses were built right here in Southern California. This includes the first three tracts, built by the Vandruff brothers themselves in western Anaheim. (After building these homes, the brothers couldn’t find land tracts large enough to build profitably, and licensed their designs to other builders.)
Armed with a copy of Dr. Lane’s book (which has two small maps of Cinderella Ranch tracts in Anaheim), I went to see these dream homes of yesteryear for myself.
If any of my readers are thinking of doing the same thing, let me spare you some pain: Section 1 had the lowest number of recognizable Cinderella Ranch houses. Nearly all had been altered in some way – many beyond recognition. One house had – horror of horrors – been converted into a profoundly unattractive monstrosity that grossly overfilled the lot it occupied. (And Cinderella Ranches are on WIDE lots. The Vandruffs negotiated a 70-72′ lot width with the city of Anaheim.)
Sadly, Section 2-2 didn’t fare much better. Section 2-1 has the highest number of minimally altered, recognizable Cinderella Ranches. (Section 2-1 will be shown in Part 2.)
I plan to do more Cinderella Ranch posts, highlighting surviving examples of these homes in other cities. (I’m also researching storybook ranch houses from other builders.) Please bear with me…I have to locate them first!
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