Gilman Wild West Days, Western Art Festival & Charity Bike Ride
June 01, 2013 9:00 AM –5:00 PM
Get a taste for what it was like to live in the Wild West through activities that include blacksmithing, rope making, hay rides, ice cream making and ole time laundry. Children will enjoy areas for crafts, pony rides and a shooting gallery. Experience fabulous live entertainment, try your hand at horse shoe tossing, Old West reenactments and historical presentations. Just a glimpse of how much fun Wild West Days offer!
In addition, the Wild West Charity Bike Ride, benefiting the Playhouse Bowl and the Banning Centennial will take place Saturday, June 1. The ride starts and ends at Gilman Historic Ranch and Wagon Museum; riders can enjoy the festival and art show for free.
The Gilman Ranch house was built circa 1897, photo taken circa 1900. Photo courtesy of the Banning Library District local history collection. Banning Library District, Banning, CA 921831.
After you attend the bike ride or as you make your way through Wild West Days, why not tour a Banning icon? The historic Gilman Ranch. On the ranch visitors will find authentic sheds that were used for olive curing, storing milk and housing a carriage. Also nearby are the ruins of the Jose Pope Adobe house that the Gilmans lived in before their ranch house was built. Inside the Victorian style ranch house, visitors will find items originally owned by the Gilmans, family photographs and various other household items of the era.
Picnic tables and barbeque grills are shaded by olive trees that were planted by the Gilmans over 100 years ago, and are bordered by a green lawn to play or picnic on, making it an ideal setting to relax. Scattered across the lawn are a variety of fruit and nut trees for the visitor to experience. This includes olives, white figs, black figs, plums, apricots, blood oranges, naval oranges, tangerines, walnuts, persimmons, pomegranates, lemons and grapefruit. Nearby are short hiking trails that give incredible views of the Banning Pass. A creek that runs year-round is a very short distance away, which wildlife like deer, bears, coyotes and bobcats drink from.
The Ranch also has a museum that displays a collection of authentic wagons, including an overland stagecoach, a “prairie schooner,” and a chuck wagon. Saddles are also on display, such as one that Buffalo Bill used in his famous Wild West Shows. In addition to the artifacts, visitors can gain insight to life during the Western Frontier when they read about the grueling journey west through the diary entries of a Kansas woman, Helen McCowen Carpenter. Inside the museum is an affordable gift shop, with unique items.