El Monte : Historic House Move OKd

The City Council voted Tuesday to provide $53,500 to move a home built in the 1890s to the new Santa Fe Trail Historic Park.

The three-bedroom Osmond Ranch House, which the owner is donating to the El Monte Historical Society, will be moved from South El Monte to the park within a month, society President Helen Huffines said.

Although some historians disagree, city officials say the site on Santa Anita Avenue marks the end of the pioneer trail taken by settlers from the Midwest. The park--which also features El Monte’s first jail, built in 1880--was declared a historical landmark by the state in 1987 and will open in June.

Huffines, who is also curator of the El Monte Historical Museum, said only a dozen other homes from the late 19th Century remain in El Monte and South El Monte.


Michael Osmond, a builder and farmer from Norway, constructed the 1 1/2-story house with redwood and square nails in 1892, Huffines said. An old water tower he built nearby will also be moved to the park.

The society will restore the interior of the house, and the city Parks and Recreation Department will provide landscaping and maintain the exterior.