The Oldest House in California Is Still Standing After 120 Years

California is home to many historic buildings, some dating back to the Spanish colonial era. But which one is the oldest of them all? According to the National Register of Historic Places, the oldest house in California is a cedar cabin built in 1801 in the Wrightwood Mountains of Southern California. The cabin, also known as Green Gate, has been the residence of forest rangers, cattle ranchers, and philosophers over the past two centuries. It is currently for sale for $635,000.

The History of Green Gate

The cabin was originally built as the first ranger station in the area, at an elevation of 5,900 feet above the Mojave Desert. The cabin has a flagstone courtyard, a living room with a rock fireplace, and a large porch covered by a wood lattice. It has two bedrooms and one bathroom, and features wood floors and extensive wood paneling, cabinets, and other built-ins throughout.

The cabin was nicknamed Green Gate by Sumner Wright, a cattle rancher who moved into the property in 1910. Wright was the namesake of the neighboring town of Wrightwood. In 1945, the Rajagopal family acquired the property and turned it into a sort of intellectual salon. Visitors included Aldous and Maria Huxley, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Igor Stravinsky, and Greta Garbo. The Rajagopal family still owns the property to this day.

The Appeal of Green Gate

The cabin is a rare example of a surviving log cabin from the early 19th century in California. It is also a testament to the diverse and rich history of the state, from the frontier days to the cultural movements of the 20th century. The cabin offers a cozy and rustic retreat for nature lovers, with views of the Blue Ridge Trail and proximity to the Pacific Crest Trail, a small ski resort, and the village of Wrightwood, which has a mix of quaint shops and restaurants.

The Future of Green Gate

The cabin is listed for $635,000, which is a bargain considering its historical significance and charm. However, the cabin is not for everyone, as it requires some maintenance and renovation to meet modern standards. The cabin is also located in a remote and mountainous area, which may pose some challenges for access and amenities. The cabin is ideal for someone who appreciates the history and beauty of the place, and is willing to preserve and protect it for generations to come.


Green Gate is the oldest house in California, and a unique piece of the state’s heritage. It has been the home of various people who shaped the culture and society of California, and it still retains its original features and character. The cabin is a rare opportunity for anyone who wants to own a piece of history and enjoy a peaceful and scenic lifestyle. Green Gate is more than just a house, it is a legacy.

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