The Gilman Ranch has a long colorful history . Banning's 1st permanent landmark, an adobe house was built in 1854 and used as a stagecoach stop. James Gilman purchased the land in 1869 and about 200 head of horses and cattle but continued to operate the stage stop. He married Martha Smith, daughter of the first pioneer settler in the Pass, Dr. Isaac Smith. They built the ranch house in 1879 and again after a fire in 1977. The Gilmans switch from raising cattle to farming grains and eventually to growing raisins, grapes, figs, prunes, apricots, peaches, almonds and olives.
A variety of fun and informative programs are offered at Gilman Ranch that serve as an excellent way to explore the Old West. Make reservations to learn more about the California Gold Rush and pan for fool's gold (Pyrite), or sign up for the Native American program to have hands on experience of the native American lifestyle. Pick up a park brochure at the Riverside County Park District Headquarters or drop into the park and check it out.
Gilman Ranch it is best known in connection with the last great western manhunt of Willie Boy, a Paiute Indian who wished to marry a young woman named Carlotta against her father's wishes. After killing the father there was a 3 week manhunt ending with Willie Boy taking his own life. The movie "Tell Them Willie Boy Was Here" starring Robert Redford was filmed at Gilman Ranch and the surrounding Banning area. ( Historic Gilman Ranch - History )
Ranch | Fire
Gilman Ranch and Wagon Museum
Riverside County’s Gilman Historic Ranch and Wagon Museum holds annual events and classes for school kids. You can tour the house and wagon museum or play, hike and relax in the park.
Gilman Ranch Fire
In 2006 Banning had 2 big fires. The Gilman Ranch Fire was the closest to town. The fire burned down the Gilman Ranch Barn, but the house and most other buildings were saved. Amazingly the McCoy house (on top of the hill) went untouched while the smoke and flames surrounded the house.
- Gilman Ranch and Museum hours
- Open to the public every 2nd and 4th Saturday 10am to 4pm
- Fridays 2pm - 4pm
- school tours by appointment only
- Fridays 10pm - 2pm
- W. Wilson St., Banning CA
- (951) 922-9200
- Information Links
- Gilman Historic Ranch and Wagon Museum