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.