End of an era for the Varney homestead in Lobo Canyon
South of Westlake Village
A cabin in the Santa Monica Mountains, home to several generations of beekeepers for nearly a century, is dismantled and its plot taken over by the state to provide an uninterrupted wildlife corridor....
The wood-frame 1890s house hidden on 154 acres at the western end of Agoura's Lobo Canyon had once been their home. The place had been in the hands of the Varney family for 97 years.
But now it was being carefully dismantled, one board at a time, by workers for the National Park Service.
Parks officials purchased the property 27 years ago for $495,850 as part of an ambitious effort to connect a swath of publicly owned land across the Santa Monica Mountains. As part of the deal, the park service agreed to lease the home back to the family for 25 years.
For the last two years, the old cabin had been boarded up and entry to the acreage prohibited. Parks officials deemed the structure unfit for use but remodeled too often to be called "historic."
Trespassers discovered it and turned it into a party house. When one young woman reportedly suffered a fatal overdose there, parks officials decided to tear it down....