Mace Ranch


Mace_Ranch_Sign_Disrepair.JPGThe Mace Ranch sign at the intersection of Mace and 2nd Street in poor repair.

Mace Ranch stands on 1,760 acres of the eastern portion of lands owned and farmed for over 75 years by the Joseph B. Chiles family. It was initially a portion of the 47,600 acre Rancho Laguna de Santos Calle a Mexican Land Grant originally made to Marcos and Manuel Vaca. The land has been owned, since 1981, by Mace Ranch Investors and developed as commercial and residential property. In recent years, there has been significant growth going on the Mace Ranch area. In 2003, the City of Davis brokered a habitat mitigation banking agreement with Yolo County to set aside 33 acres of Yolo County Grasslands Regional Park as burrowing owl habitat so they could develop the Mace Ranch area; as part of this agreement they also pledged to provide parity for the estimated loss of land value by providing $45,000-$50,000 for a 35 acre Bark Park.

The development is located in East Davis, spanning a significant amount of land between East Covell Boulevard, Mace Boulevard, and 2nd Street.

Points of interest include:


dscp1133.jpgThe driveway which is now a bike path between 5th and 2nd Street.

In 1850 Colonel Joseph B. Chiles (1810-1885) paid $10,000 for 4,327 acres of the Rancho Laguna de Santos Calle a Mexican Land Grant, and two years later built a two-story family home close to where the Mace Ranch House now stands on this property. In 1854 Joseph Chiles transferred the western part of the property to son-in-law Jerome C. Davis and the eastern part to his other son-in-law Gabriel Brown (see Isaac Skinner Chiles). Davis now largely covers the original Jerome C. Davis farm, which was west of today's Pole Line Road while the eastern part of the Chiles Ranch extended north from Putah Creek to what is now Covell Boulevard and east from Pole Line Road to County Road 104.

Isaac's sons, James and William, assumed responsibility for the Chiles Ranch when their mother died in 1893, and in 1929 James sold his 540 acre eastern portion to Del Grieve who continued to operate it as a sheep farm and lived in the old Chiles' home. In 1946, Grieve sold the land and house to Gordon Guiberson of Los Angeles and the land turned into alfalfa and sugar beet production; the new owner built an adobe house near the original Chiles home, living there only briefly.

In 1950, the C. Bruce Mace family, a wealthy Dixon meat packing, cattle & ranching family, purchased 1,760 acres of Chiles Ranch land including the Grieve/Guiberson acreage, the Chiles family home and the adobe house. Bruce Mace and his family lived in the Guiberson adobe in 1951 while they dismantled the old Chiles home, and built the house now known as Mace Ranch House where the family resided until the 1970s. Though Bruce Mace died in 1961 and the ranch was sold in the early 1970s, his wife continued living in Mace Ranch House until 1985, four years after Mace Ranch was purchased by MRI (Mace Ranch Investors).

Except for the Community Park, the ranch has been developed for residential or commercial uses, including Explorit's 1991 tenancy agreement for occupation of the Mace Ranch House. The driveway leading from the old highway, lined by Olive and Oak trees, is now a bike path leading to the Explorit Science Center.

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