The Bixby’s Garden: 1866 –1881
Southern California had experienced devastating floods and droughts in the 1860s. Temple was ready to retire, and he sold the property to the Bixbys for their sheep ranch. One of the first orders of business was to drill a new well and add a windmill to pump water into a raised water tower. With water available, the grounds were once again receiving irrigation.
Unlike with Temple, this was the Bixbys’ home, and the garden provided sustenance as well as retreats for relaxation and play. The children used the summerhouse to store their croquet set.
The two Moreton Bay Fig trees added by the Jotham and Margaret Bixby are the only surviving plants documented from this era. They have grown together and today dominate the backyard.