The 67-acre Double R Bar Ranch once owned by Western stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, has been bought at auction for $645,000 by an Hawaiian woman.
The King and Queen of the Cowboys for years were the First Couple of Chatsworth where they attended church, raised their children, and were involved in community activities.
Margaret Tom, a retired social worker from Kaneohe, Hawaii, purchased the Apple Valley ranch on Thursday for her Colorado daughter and son-in-law who plan to stable their Arabian horses there.
The ranch includes a 1,700-square-foot house, a red barn, a stable with 15 stalls, a half-mile horse track and fenced pastures.
Marcella Taylor, a local historian in Apple Valley, who lives in the house Rogers and Evans bought in town, said that the new owners plan to honor the traditions that sellers Eric and Anne Enriquez brought to the ranch. The couple from Orange County restored the property after buying it 10 years ago for $300,000.
“Not much will change outwardly, it will just have new owners, Taylor said.
In fact, Taylor said, they have already confirmed that the Dale Evan’s Centennial Event will take place there on Sept. 30.
Taylor, who gives tours of her own house for fans of Rogers and Evans said that the ranch is a part their history and people are interested in it because they loved the cowboy couple.
“They were normal people, who weren’t normal people, and people just worshiped them,” Taylor said. “If people come to my house to tour they’ll actually just burst out crying. They can’t believe they’re in the house that Roy and Dale slept in. The emotions are... I don’t even know how to explain it."
Rogers and Evans first discovered Apple Valley when they were driving to the mountains.
“The reason they came to Apple Valley is because they used to go to Big Bear where their cottage is up on the lake,” Taylor said. “They would always pass through Apple Valley because back then there was no 15 highway.”
Then, around the time they mostly had retired from the movies and after they had just lost the original Trigger, tragedy struck. In 1964, their daughter, Debbie was killed in a church bus accident, Taylor said.
“, so they came to Apple Valley,” Taylor said.
Soon after they bought a house in town and then the ranch.
“They had the ranch out there from ‘65 to his death in ’98,” Taylor said said. “Roy owned that ranch, but it wasn’t a tourist attraction or anything.”
Rogers never lived in the ranch however, he only lived in town.
“He was very low key about [the ranch],” Taylor said. “No one really knew it was his ranch, he had his horses out there.”
Only after Rogers’ death did the ranch begin to become more of an attraction.
“The Enriquez doubled the size of the house, remodeled it and they got a lot of artifacts and stuff from the museums to put in it,” Taylor said.
Taylor said that they also put up a sign on the entranceway that made it look like the gateway in their television show, The Roy Rogers Show.
They also allowed people to access the ranch, by taking hayride tours, visiting the museum built into the house and the theater which was created in the paddock, Taylor said.
Taylor said Rogers' and Evans' lasting legacy is the impact that they had for those who grew up watching their show.
“We hear all the time from people from the '40s and '50s, ‘My dad brought me up on the Roy Rogers Riders Rules,' and 'I don’t know where I’d be today without them,’” Taylor said. “People from all around the world totally idolize Roy and Dale.”
However, the couple never let that go to their head, Taylor said. In Apple Valley they acted like just another member of the community.
“When you lived next to them and they were neighbors, you realized that not only were they super, super talented entertainers with unbelievable moral values, but they were also such wonderful citizens that liked everybody and attended all of our local stuff,” Taylor said.
Today many people make the pilgrimage to Apple Valley to honor them, Taylor said.
“They’re buried out in Sunset Hill and one of the main things when people come to the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce is that they want to know right away is where is Sunset Hill is, to go and see their gravesite,” Taylor said. “It’s just like they’re heroes. It’s hard to explain the influence they had and that they still have.”
More information about the Centennial to honor Evans on what would have been her 100th birthday can be found here.