Rancho La Patera & Stow House
304 N. Los Carneros Rd.
Goleta, CA  93117

(805) 681-7216 (Phone)   |   (805) 681-7216 (Toll Free)   |   (805) 681-7217 (Fax)
Website    |     Email
Year Founded:
   Built in 1872, Stow House is one of the oldest landmarks in the Goleta Valley. Today, it is a historic house museum that teaches visitors about ranch life, architectural history, and the Stow family.
    It was once the headquarters of Rancho La Patera. In 1871, William Whitney Stow, a legal counsel for Southern Pacific Railroad in San Francisco, purchased 1,043 acres costing $28,677 for his son, Sherman P. Stow. Sherman Stow built a Gothic Revival home on the site and moved into the house with his bride, Ida G. Hollister, in 1873. The family expanded the house in two major renovations in the 1880s and 1910s. You can visit the house, see family photographs and furniture, and hear the stories of Sherman and Ida and their descendants.
    In 1875, 3,000 lemon trees were planted in the first commercial lemon planting in California. Goleta's earliest commercial irrigation also took place on the ranch, and you can still visit "Lake Los Carneros," the pond created by the Stows. Sherman Stow's son, state senator Edgar Whitney Stow, set up a research laboratory at the ranch and developed disease resistant lemon rootstock of great value to local ranchers. The house was occupied by three generations of Stow descendants.
    Today, Rancho La Patera is open for public viewing on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. (Tours begin at 2 & 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Special weekday and school tours are available by appointment.) The Stow House, Visitor Center and History Education Center are open every weekend except for major holidays. Suggested Admission is $8 for Adults and free for children under 12.
Museum Category:

Business Hours:
    1 - 4 PM (Sat & Sun)
Location Type:
    Historic Site
Payment Accepted:
    Cash,   Check,   MasterCard,   Visa,  
Languages Spoken:
Admission Pricing:
    Donation: $8 per adult, supervised children under 12 free.
General Business Classification:
    Museums, Historic Sites, Attractions
    Historical Museum

    During normal business hours.
    Indoor/Outdoor Location
Parking On-Site?
    Yes   --   Lot next to Stow House & South Coast Railroad Museum.
Handicapped Accessible?
    Some restrictions
    Some restrictions
Cell Phones & Pagers?
    Some restrictions
Cameras/Recording Equip.?
    Some restrictions
Pets Allowed?
    Some restrictions
Guided Tours?
 Recent Buzzes!!
2/25/14 - Become a Docent!
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Accelerated Docent Training ..... Ancestors - Artifacts - Agriculture - Architecture. Join our family of committed volunteers! Ranch Docents lead educational tours for guests of all ages, bringing history alive as visitors experience the ambiance of Rancho La Patera & Stow House and learn about OUR community history.
We offer customized training which includes five sessions to shadow veteran docents. GVHS also offers continuing opportunities for docents and volunteers to explore local history, meet new people, and of course, have fun!
For more information contact: Maureen Belle, Education Coordinator maureen@goletahistory.org (805) 681-7216 x3   Email
12/12/13 - This weekend -- Holiday at the Ranch ... Rancho La Patera & Stow House
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The Stow House is decked out for the holidays! A crew of volunteers spent the last few weeks decorating the historic home of the Stow family. Join us for Holiday at the Ranch: A Stow House Tradition by enjoying a tour of the festive Stow House with live music. Visit Santa and his “rein-goats,” shop for gifts, and more. Our little guests will love the old-fashioned “cookie-bake,” story time and crafts. We promise you’ll feel the holiday spirit at the Ranch.
Presented by ... Rancho La Patera & Stow House
Venue ... Rancho La Patera & Stow House  Website
8/13/13 - Tonight ... "Music At the Ranch" ... with Donna Greene & The Roadhouse Daddies
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The community is invited to enjoy live music surrounded by the serene beauty of the gardens of Stow House. This is an excellent opportunity for the community to come together and enjoy performances by local musicians. Beverages including wine and beer available for purchase. Bring a picnic and enjoy dinner alfresco!
August 13, Donna Greene & The Roadhouse Daddies (Vintage Blues)
August 20, Area 51 (Cover)

Venue ... Rancho La Patera & Stow House  Website
6/19/13 - Don't miss it ... Fiesta Ranchera ... tomorrow night (Thursday June 20)
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This popular event, co-hosted by the Goleta Valley Historical Society and Old Spanish Days in Santa Barbara, Inc. offers a festive evening of “pre-fiesta” fun, food, music, and dancing. The beautiful and historic gardens offer the perfect ambiance for sampling food from local restaurants and tasting wines from award winning local wineries.
Tony Ybarra and his Spanish guitarist trio will be performing, followed by the Spirit and Junior Spirits of Fiesta. Then step out onto the dance floor to the ever-favorite sounds of Area 51. Attendees are encouraged to dress in Fiesta or Ranch attire.   Website
5/7/13 - Music at the Ranch needs you!
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Goleta Valley Historical Society is continuously looking for partners to support our summer events such as Fiesta Ranchera, Music at the Ranch and the Old Fashioned 4th of July. For more information about how you can help with our community events at Rancho La Patera & Stow House, contact Dacia Harwood at dacia@goletahistory.org or 681-7216 x2.  Email   Website
5/7/13 - Goleta Valley Historical Society seeks volunteers/docents for fun at Rancho La Patera & Stow House
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Goleta Valley Historical Society is seeking new volunteers for a variety of program opportunities at Rancho La Patera & Stow House. Volunteering is a great way to make new friends, give back to your community and have fun. A New Volunteer Orientation is offered on the 3rd Saturday of every month at 2:30 pm at the Visitor Center next to Stow House. Specific Volunteer Posts Include: Ranch Hands- help organize, preserve, and protect the collections. Ranch Docents- lead educational tours of Stow House and the History Education Center, bringing history alive to guests of all ages as they experience the ambiance of the early 1900s. Seasonal Ranch Hands- help with our events. Orientation, training, and time commitments are specific for each occasion. A fun-loving, great attitude is the only requirement! Events include festivals, fundraisers, concerts and other fun. Wranglers- guide and assist children in the Pioneer Days Program, our unique experience for 3rd graders. For more information contact info@goletahistory.org or 681-7216.   Email   Website
4/29/13 - Free Bird Watching Walk on Friday, May 3 at 8am
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Bird Walk Join Adam Lewis, co-author of the book The Birds of Lake Los Carneros, for a walk to explore the bird populations at Lake Los Carneros (adjacent to Rancho La Patera & Stow House) on Friday, May 3 at 8am. Discover this “birding hotspot” in your own backyard throughout the seasons. Meet at the Visitor Center. Bring a camera and wear good walking shoes for an approximately 2-hour adventure. Free, no reservation necessary. For more info contact Goleta Valley Historical Society at 681-7216 x2 or dacia@goletahistory.org   Email   Website
10/22/12 - Lights! Camera! Attack! The Shelling of Ellwood on the Silver Screen -- October 28
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A lecture by Ken Hough - Join us for a lively lecture by Ken Hough revealing the Hollywood connection to the historic incident in Goleta. From movie newsreels to cliffhanging serials, from propoganda thrillers to epic comedy blockbusters, a number of Tinseltown plot lines were inspired by the Japanese submarine bombardment of Ellwood in 1942.
This talk will explore Hollywood's fscination with the attackand will be punctuated with exciting clips from several obscure films including Buses Roar, Submarine Alert!, and G-Men vs The Black Men Dragon and many more. Reservations are required to attend the lecture.
The Exhibition: On February 23, 1942 a large Japanese submarine identified as the I-17 surfaced at sundown off of Ellwood Mesa and fired its deck cannon at the tidelands oil-production facilities clustered along the shore. The shelling followed the attack on Pearl Harbor, which plunged the United States into World War II. The exhibition is on full view until December 30, 2012). Special thank you to VENOCO, INC, SANTA BARBARA AIRPORT, and the SB Independent for their support. Rancho La Patera is located at 304 North Los Carneros Road in Goleta. For more information contact Goleta Valley Historical Society at 681-7216 or www.goletahistory.org.
Venue: Rancho La Patera & Stow House.  Email   Website
9/21/12 - Volunteers needed for our booth at the Lemon Festival
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Volunteer for GVHS at the 2012 California Lemon Festival In Goleta (at Girsh Park). We will host our popular lemon memorabilia & Goleta history booth. Festival days are Saturday & Sunday October 13 & 14. Shifts are only 2 1/2 hours each.
Thank you so much for your support.  Email   Website
8/20/12 - Spencer The Gardener plays the last of the "Music At the Ranch" Summer Concerts
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This six-week series takes place on Tuesday evenings. The community is invited to enjoy live music surrounded by the serene beauty of the gardens of Stow House. This series is an excellent opportunity for the community to come together and enjoy performances by local musicians. Beverages including wine and beer available for purchase. Bring a picnic and enjoy dinner alfresco!
August 21, Spencer The Gardener. Special thanks to Gold Sponsor ATK Space Systems.
Venue: Rancho La Patera & Stow House.  Email   Website
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