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Forest Home Farms

San Ramon is situated 34 miles north of San Francisco and within the San Ramon Valley, California, U.S.A. Contra Costa County. It was estimated that the population in San Ramón was 75,931 behind Richmond, Concord and Antioch in the United States, making it the fourth biggest town in the county of Contra Costa. Chevron is home to the 24-hour Fitness Headquarters, AT&T center in West Coast, General Electric Global Software Center, and the Medical Center in San Ramon. The Art and Wind Festival on the day of the Memorial Weekend and the Education Run in October will be major annual events.

San Ramon Valley is known for its parks, one of the more popular ones being Forest Home Farms. The park is a historic municipal park of 16 hectares (6.5 ha). In 1997, in memory of its husband, Travis Moore Boone, Ruth Quayle Boone bequeathed the land and every building therein to the City of San Ramon for use as a park. In recognizing the contributions made by women to farming in the Valle de Sant Ramón in the San Ramon, Ruth Boone died back in 1998 at the age of 94, and Ruth expanded her memorial to include her generosity to the people of San Ramón. “The Forest Home Farms Park conserves, encourages, collections, interprets and exhibits the agricultural history of the San Ramón Valley. Through instructional possibilities we aim to promote links between past and present.” 

The donation was exceptional given to the latest extensive growth of land for housing areas in Contra Costa County, and the increase in property value. Instead, Mrs Boone, who was frequently addressed by developers wishing to buy the farm, decided to keep Forest Home Farms alive and to offer San Ramon’s people this wide area of land to appreciate the beauty of the farm.  With the vision and foresight, the city embraced the estate to acknowledge its capacity as a national open space, which can offer recreational and educational possibilities that are unprecedented in the fast evolving countryside of the county of Contra Costa.

On the ground of the Hills of East Bay, the 16 acre farm is divided into two sections that are almost equal. All of the structures constructed or used by the Boone, except for the cistern on the southwest corner above a hill, are contained in the Northern part of the site. There are two houses, 14 outbuildings and two pergolas within the constructions. The buildings constitute nearly a hundred years of valley housing growth. The Boone House is a Netherlands 22-room colonial building, which was rebuilt a number of times in 1900. Eventually this residence will be a bureau and a conference centre. The 14 outbuildings differ considerably in dates, including a grass initially produced between 1850 and 1860, a farm equipment of 7000 square feet and automotive storage structure and a three-story walnut processing plant with three stories of hulling and drying.

The southern part of Forest Home is the park of the Victorian-style Glass House Museum and its 1877 tank house. This property is located on Lora Nita Farm from its initial site. The Glass House is a wooden, two-story house with an old one-story hanging wing and a windmill tank house. The Glass House has been renovated to its beauty in 2009 and is accessible to tours and an educational program for Victorian Life.

In 1877, pioneer David Glass of San Ramon chose to construct a house of an impressive exterior. The architectural style was Italian, a complex fresh style that architects who migrated from the east coast to San Francisco launched in the Bay Area in the mid 1960’s. The Glass House would have stood proudly in contrast with the modest residences of most of its neighbors in the small rural community which had existed in the San Ramon in the 1870s and was situated prominently in San Ramon between Dublin and Walnut Creek, a two floor building with a 9 room structure.

The Glass House is a key component of the society of San Ramon. Take the time to explore the notable history of San Ramon, profoundly integrated in one of its oldest families and the house they lived in.

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