NOTE: The following description is based on interviews of Robert E. Thomas during November, 2005, by his son Steve Thomas. This is a fairly short tale, as my Dad is now 85 and has little patience for all of my questions about his past. The photos below are from our family album; a couple of others appear in the Ranch Photos section.

The Honeymoon Cottage

My parents met on a blind date some time before Dad was drafted into the Air Force in 1942. After serving in New Guinea from June, 1944, until May, 1945, he returned to duty in the United States. My parents were married in Los Angeles on June 16, 1945. My Dad had two weeks of leave time, no money, and no car.

They decided to spend one week of their honeymoon at the Ranch. When asked why they chose the Ranch, he replied, "Because it was fun." But I suspect that it was also free.

Walter Thomas, my grandfather, drove them up to the Ranch in the same 1928 Star that he had driven to the Ranch after the floods of 1938. 

They stayed in one of the little cabins across Alder Creek from the main cabin. Orval and Hazel Thomas lived on the Ranch at that time. Aunt Hazel did most of the cooking, and they ate most of their meals together.

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My parents' Honeymoon Cottage, June, 1945

Page 3-2(Aunt Hazel and bride
Hazel (Loomis) Thomas and Betty (McClellan) Thomas,
my great aunt and my Mom. Mom is holding two
sections of watermelon.
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The Groom working the corn fields. How could any woman resist?
I think that he still has his "mountain hat".

My parents had three children; I was the oldest, born in July, 1946. My first visit to the Ranch was at 21 months of age in 1948; my final visit in October, 1952. Neither of my brothers were old enough at the time to remember the Ranch today. Grace sold the Ranch a few months after our final visit.

While researching Ranch history for this project, I discovered that one of the cottages was known as "The Honeymoon Cottage." I have not yet discovered the origin of this name, and continue to wonder if my parents marriage had something to do with it.