before humans arrived

Johnsondale and R-Ranch – Written by Walter S. Nicholas

Before it was a private development, the ranch was the Mount Whitney lumber company town called Johnsondale, California. It is located about 26 miles northwest of Kernville along the Kern River. It is surrounded by more than 866,000 acres of the Sequoia National Forest and Monument at an elevation of over 4700 feet and includes750 acres. Referred to as “cabins,” more than 80 individual housing units are actually small homes initially occupied by the logging mills workers. These units have been maintained as charming rustic buildings with all of the amenities one would want in a mountain home.  They range in size from one single bedroom to multi-bedroom facilities. Other building to retain evidence of their original use, such as the restaurant, general store, dance hall, chapel, school building, barns, and business offices. Some structures have been converted to provide activities for adults and children. The stable area, or “old town” as it is called, includes 10 buildings, stalls, storage, and other original structures plus a full-sized horse arena. The lake was reconstructed from the original log soaking pond site for the mill and is 7.5 acres in diameter.