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A Visit to Ronald Reagan’s “Ranch in the Sky”

A Visit to Ronald Reagan’s “Ranch in the Sky”

The Silicon Valley Chancellor’s Council visits the Reagan Ranch near Santa Barbara.

A view from the Reagan Ranch
A view from the Reagan Ranch

Who was Ronald Reagan, really?  On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 8 and 9, 2021, a group of 21 Chancellor’s Council members and IWP officers got a window into the character and personality of our 40th President, when they toured his idyllic Rancho del Cielo “Ranch in the Sky” in a remote location in the coastal mountains outside Santa Barbara, California.

Rancho del Cielo was Reagan’s “Western White House” during his Presidency, where he received many dignitaries and foreign heads of state, including the Queen of England and Mikhail Gorbachev, then President of the Soviet Union.  It includes a small adobe ranch house, a stable, and miles of horseback riding trails on its 600-plus acres.

The trip was organized by the Silicon Valley Chapter of the IWP Chancellor’s Council, but included IWP friends from Washington, D.C. and Palm Beach, Florida.  IWP Trustee Chairman John Lovewell and Vice Chairman Amb. Aldona Woś hosted the event.

“I was impressed by the really humble and cozy adobe ranch house which says so much about Ron and Nancy Reagan,” commented IWP Trustee Heidi Leupp.  “President Reagan did much of the construction and fence-building himself.  The house was decorated not to impress, but rather to create a comfortable and homey western ambiance.”

The trip began with a dinner on Tuesday evening at the Hotel Californian in Santa Barbara and a formal presentation by Dr. Frank Marlo on “Reflections on the Reagan Presidency.” Dr. Marlo is current Academic Dean at IWP and author of Planning Reagan’s War: Conservative Strategists and America’s Cold War Victory. John Lovewell served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening.

On Wednesday, June 9, the group visited the Reagan Ranch. After visiting the Reagan Ranch Center, the group was taken by bus up the windy narrow country road to Rancho del Cielo.  After a tour of the ranch house and stable, they enjoyed a BBQ lunch by the lovely pond the Reagans had created. They were then taken back to the Reagan Ranch Center, where the event concluded.

During this event, friendships were made, and conversations took place about supporting IWP’s mission. Guests were delighted to be in community with other people again and enjoy good company. IWP would like to give special thanks to Tom Robinson, Andrew Coffin, and the staff of Young America Foundation for the success and organization of this gathering.

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John and Cynthia Lovewell at the Reagan Ranch
Chairman John Lovewell and his wife Cynthia at the Reagan Ranch.