History

 
Pacifica Garden is located on the majority of what was once the Messinger homestead. Simon Messinger of Pennsylvania traveled to Oregon in the 1850s, where he supported his family by ranching, milling lumber, and working a gold mining claim. Messinger was considered a helpful neighbor, one of whose early community functions included crafting coffins. Well-educated, he was also a teacher when needed.

Between Messinger’s establishment of the land and its current ownership, the Pacifica property has been owned by a number of notable people, all of whom added their own unique imprint to the land. In the 1940s, the property was purchased by the Lippincott family, artists and art collectors from “Hopi country.” They used wood from the property to build the spectacular Lippincott House which is still in use today.

Lippincott House Photo Gallery

In 1954 the land was sold to the Lippert family, who raised cattle and added huge reservoirs. After being purchased in 1964 and split into subdivisions by the McNutts of California, the remaining 420 acres were sold to rock musician Steve Miller in 1978. During his stay, Miller built a large, cedar-lined “barn” with an enormous hall and state-of-the-art recording studio, both of which are still very active. Miller left in 1985 and the property remained quiet until the late nineties, when it was in danger of being subdivided once again. To prevent the dismantling of this amazing property, it was purchased by its current owners in 1998 and named Pacifica Garden.

Lippert Ranch Photo Gallery

Today, Pacifica: A Garden in the Siskiyous has primary commitments to education, to plants and the environment, to local arts and to the communities and people of southwestern Oregon. It is a nature center, botanic garden, school of practical horticulture, and community center. About half of its 500 acres is substantially unaltered native habitat (including riparian, mixed conifer forest, oak savannah, and chaparral) that serves as a Nature Center, a laboratory for study and observation. The Botanic Garden, a living museum, recently obtained over 5,000 species and varieties of plants thanks to the donation of Forestfarm Nursery, one of the foremost mail-order nurseries in the country. Forestfarm’s migration to Pacifica, including the construction of new nursery facilities to re-circulate irrigation water and establish energy-efficient buildings, has provided a financial base and opportunities for horticultural training. One of Pacifica’s proudest achievements is the beloved Caterpillar Mobile Science & Nature Center, a traveling classroom that takes hands-on programs to K-5 schools in Josephine and Jackson Counties.

For members of the local community, Pacifica is a lovely place to go hiking, relax with catch-and-release fishing, or just bring a picnic and enjoy! Our scenic location has become a natural choice for weddings, with ceremonies held in our pond-side wedding garden and receptions in the Great Hall built by Steve Miller. This central building has become a gathering place for community events and celebrations of all kinds, including classes and workshops hosted by our very own Pacifica Arts Guild.

We hope that you will take advantage of all that Pacifica has to offer and continue to make us a vital member of the southern Oregon community!

In the heart of the beautiful Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon, where the grandeur of the Siskiyou Mountains combines with one of America’s most pleasing climates, lies the Lippert Ranch, a blending of the color and exhilaration of the old West, with luxury living, convenience and charm. ~
Advertising Copy for the Sale of the Lippert Ranch in the early 1960s. The Ranch’s property would later become Pacifica Garden.