Bob Wills's Fresno ranch house to be saved

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bob_wills_family-bbb_ranch-fresno.jpgEarlier this year it was learned that a new subdivision threatened the site of Bob Wills's Triple BBB Ranch in Fresno. The famous western swing bandleader and his family lived on the 80-acre ranch in the mid-1940s.

Local preservationists were too late to get the ranch on the historic register before the developer had obtained a demolition permit. But they were able to work out an agreement with the developer, who offered the house for $1 to anyone willing to move it to another location.

Lance Tullis, president of the Central California Music Association, bought Bob Wills's Triple BBB Ranch house and is moving it. Later this month, he's holding a dance to raise funds for renovating the building into a museum. "Raise the Roof for the King of Western Swing" will be held on Saturday, October 26, 2013, from 6 to 10 pm at the Appellation California (ApCal) winery tasting room, 32749 Avenue 7 (@ SH 99), Madera, CA. Bob's daughter Carolyn Wills, who was born on the ranch and is president of the Bob Wills Heritage Foundation, will be at the event to talk about her memories of the place.

If you can't attend, you can donate through the Fresno Arts Council and designate your gift for the Bob Wills ranch house.

MORE: Western swing historian Buddy McPeters says Fresno needs to get the ball rolling to save the Big Fresno Barn, a popular dance hall where all the great Central Valley western swing and country performers played in the '40s, '50s, and '60s. An auction site has some pictures of the Big Fresno Barn and its contents, which were auctioned off in 2012.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 10, 2013 1:48 PM.

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