Caretaker to Bates Ranch Legacy

01.David.roadsignDavid Hutto is a fifth generation member of the Bates family and great grandson to Robert W. Bates. Since 1882, under continuous family ownership, this historic home has provided expansive views, unique memories, and vacation opportunities for both family and the extended community. David serves as caretaker to this legacy.

David’s regular job is being a licensed contractor for Kinevan Ranch comprising 2,500 acres and 20 rental homes



Robert W. Bates managed the then 1200 acre Bates Ranch in an upstairs office with an adjacent deck. As pictured in 2009 that deck was in disrepair. David completely rebuilt a new deck and stairs. Because David lives in this former office, he has refurbished this loft apartment as well. Herein, lies David’s success as a caretaker. Living in such close proximity to vacation renters provides a steady presence and security for the owners.


While David has the privilege of living at Bates Ranch, he also provides vital services which enhance the ranch. In 2009 he repaired two structural problems in the courtyard. First, an enormous cypress limb had partially collapsed the covered porch roof. Concrete footings and anchoring new posts in concrete solved the problem. Secondly, the brick retaining wall deteriorated into a leaning wall. When David took this apart, he supported what would be a new wall with a concrete reinforced foundation. Thus the original bricks were able to be used in reconstruction.

When Ventura Fire Department was asked to sign off on fire abatement in 2009, they ordered the perimeter around the house vastly widened. Long overgrown Catalina cherry trees had to be removed. David took on this job of eliminating a towering hedge and then building a rock wall to stabilize the sheer drop off from the main road. Conversely, he built a white fence so no one would fall into the drop off. This fence and later wisteria arbor add character to that area of the grounds.

If one sat on the front porch in 2009, the view of the lawn was haphazard. David acted as a contractor making his sister’s vision of an expanded lawn, possible. After chainsawing extensive scrub brush along the perimeters, David contacted Mac Brown, who arranged to deliver excess dirt from previous excavating jobs. Many enjoy the improved lawn and view, considering these an asset.

A studio stands on the property where Richard Meryman painted his iconic oils of Rincon Point in 1938. Although this studio is a cherished part of Bates history, it was designated as being structurally unsafe and structurally unsound with no load bearing support. Because the entire building was in jeopardy, David spent a year of weekends stabilizing and rehabilitating its preservation.

In 2015. David created a parking lot for vendors and guests. After planting citrus and avocado trees to hold varying soil levels, David could envision where cars and trucks would park. Heavy ropes marked dividing designated spaces. David created pathway routes for waiters delivering meals and rock lined pathways connecting the front with the back of the ranch house.

David demonstrates a calm demeanor during stressful situations. Over seven years, five of whom included weddings, be it agitated mother of the brides, noise compliance, or alcohol heightened issues, David deals with each potential conflict with respect and calm firmness.

As caretaker, David is a great spokesman for the ranch. The owners appreciate his enthusiasm, ingenuity, contracting skills, and steadiness when the occasional emergency occurs. David has well earned the trust the Bates Family has in him.

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This wagon was used on the Bates Ranch, circa late 1800’s. Afterwards it was then moved to the Ota Ranch. Recently it was given as a gift from Marvin Ota to David.

Womens’ Retreat at the Bates Ranch House

I booked the Bates Ranch House for a small women’s retreat. I wanted to find a beautiful place that had history, charm, and of course, the ocean. Everything about my experience at this property was pure magic. The hummingbirds, the rose bushes, the whale watching we were so lucky to get every morning, the bright, immaculate interior, and the history of the home can be felt in every corner of the space. I can’t wait to come back for a second retreat!BRH

Dream Foundation Flower Empower Luncheon


The Bates Ranch House was proud to donate the use of the property last month for the 6th Annual Dream Foundation Flower Empower Luncheon. The event raises funds and gives thanks to the staff and volunteers who deliver more than 150 fresh bouquets each week throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. Andrew Firestone was the Emcee and helped raise an impressive $15,000 in five minutes through the generous donations of guests.  Click here for more details and photos.

Bates and Ota Families Shared Childhood Memories

Growing up together, the Bates and Ota children spent many happy hours on the beach at Rincon Point. Their imaginations were free to create unlimited fun, from damming up Rincon Creek as a secluded pond, and then building a sea worthy vessel to sail across it. Ken Ota built a raft from washed up railroad ties and the kids added flags and christened it, complete with a name.

Mrs. Juliette Bates celebrated holidays at Rincon del Mar Ranch with children from both families present. Easter festivities and other special occasions brought happy smiles and shared activities.

In a world prior to television and computer games, these children found their own entertainment by creating games together, sharing projects to build, or instigating challenges for each other. Ota children and Bates children thrived growing up in a safe and unsupervised, seemingly idyllic childhood before the war years hit.

After the onset of W.W.II all Japanese families were forcibly relocated inland away from their Carpinteria farms.

Decades passed and in March of 2013, descendants of the Ota family gathered around Sumi Ota, age 100. Sumi was one of the young children seen building the raft in the Rincon creek photos. Today, her family was reminiscing with Fleurette Bates’ daughter, Robbie Hutto, and enjoying the ocean view at Bates Ranch House, where so many fun childhood days were spent.

A Room With A View

The Bates Ranch House is surrounded by the best Carpinteira has to offer. Overlooking a 180 degree ocean vista from the front of the house and the stunning mountain views from the back, each room has a beautiful view that is unique from the rest.   Book now and experience the amazing views for yourself!


Whales at Rincon

Surf along the Santa Barbara and Ventura coastlines this past week have been the stuff that dreams are mode of! While the coast is peppered with iconic surf spots, some would say one of the best, Rincon,  happens to sit within perfect viewing range of the Bates Ranch House. 

The owners who manage all the landscape and maintenance on he three acre estate, were taking a break from Bates Ranch house yard work and noticed the thunderous surf and hundreds of surfers below the great lawn.  As surfers made long ride after long ride, a whale breached about a half mile offshore and made a wide splash.  The next 20 minutes were spent on the chairs on the front porch with coffee and admiration of the sight as whale after whale breached and splashed as the pod made its way toward Santa Barbara.

Fun Fact! When the original parcel was purchased in 1882 through a Spanish Land Grant, the Bates Ranch included one half of Rincon Point.

And did you know! Steve Bissell’s famed Queen of the Coast was photographed from the Bates Ranch House. When Robert W. Bates learned of Steve trespassing, he asked Steve to come see him. Being understandably nervous, Steve was relieved when he realized Mr. Bates only wanted a copy of his photo, and to give him ranch avocados in return. 

Sitting on the expansive front lawn is the perfect place to view Rincon’s surf as it breaks. Reserve the Bates Ranch House for the Rincon Classic next year to have your own private place to view the surf competitions or whales breaching!

A Wartime Love Story

As a recent Harvard School grad, Robert W. Bates made the brave decision to volunteer for France, at the start of World War I, even though America had not yet become involved. Throughout the war. Robert served as an ambulance driver  and was Ernest Hemingway’s commanding officer over a period of time.  While stationed in France, Robert was wounded and sent to a Paris hospital for treatment and recovery. During that time, he was tended to by a Parisian nurse named, Juliette Marchand. Time passed and the two fell in love, despite living on different continents and during the uncertainty of life amidst a World War.

After a courtship and when the war ended, Robert and Juliette married! Juliette agreed to move to Santa Barbara where Robert’s family owned half of an original Spanish land grant. At the time no one was living on the land which was mostly hills and scrub brush but with a fantastic ocean view! 

Together Robert and Juliette built the Bates Ranch House of adobe brick with spacious rooms, large fireplaces, and surrounding a protected inner courtyard. The numerous windows of rippled Depression glass still exist in the home today. Juliette’s French influence is visible in exterior shutters, a bathroom for each bedroom, in the tile work, and a curved hallway wall. Her personal touches in the otherwise typical 1920’s ranch style home, make for a beautiful and one of a kind home.

This wartime love story was passed on through the Bates’ four children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. With Robert’s and Juliette’s presence, the home served as a hub for all extended Bates gatherings. For five  generations, the home has been a welcoming touch stone whenever family returned, and remains in the Bates family today.

Hiking Los Padres National Forest

Beautiful views of the Los Padres National Forest can be seen from many of the rooms in the Bates Ranch House. But the most stunning views can be found in the charming courtyard with original 1920’s brick fireplace. It’s a favorite among the families who have stayed at the ranch to sit by the fire, take in the view and enjoy quality time with one another. 

With 1,257 miles of trails on 1,762,400 acres, with 875,000 acres of protected wilderness to explore, you won’t soon run out of new territory to discover! Los Padres includes most of the mountainous land along the California coast from Ventura to Monterey, extending inland. Elevations range from sea level to 8,847 feet. About 88% are public lands; the rest are privately owned.


Rincon Classic

Each year the Rincon Classic is held at the world famed Rincon Point. Come enjoy the view of swells forming and the surf breaking, while staying at Bates Ranch House. Originally half of Rincon Point was owned by the Bates family. The expansive lawn and original ranch house directly overlooks this panoramic view. Great for surfers, ocean enthusiasts, and low tide beach glass explorers!