U.S. to Buy Reagan Ranch

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SANTA BARBARA: Ronald Reagan's 688-acre Santa Barbara ranch is up for sale, and the American public is set to buy it. TIME reporter Martha Smilgis reports that the Interior Department is likely to agree to the near-$5 million asking price, to turn the spread into a state park — and a Reagan museum, of sorts. Tucked in the Santa Ynez Mountains, the ranch was made famous during the ’80s when President Reagan escaped the pressures of Washington to chop wood at the ocean-front setting. All the furniture, ranch equipment and horses have been removed — but will be returned if it becomes a tourist attraction.

Sotheby’s has had the house on the market for more than a year, but, Smilgis notes, "The asking price was a lot of money for what's up there. Much of the land isn't usable because it sits on such steep hills, and the main house itself is tiny, just 1,500 square feet. But because of the gorgeous, heavenly surroundings, it's perfect for a tourist attraction." And perfect for Reaganites to wax nostalgic.