Meet The Palmers

The Palmer family lived on both coasts and in between until 1976 when Alan Palmer resigned from the U.S. Public Health Service finally choosing Half Moon Bay to settle down. The three children were ages 10, 11, and 12 when they moved to the Coastside.

Kevin, the middle child, took to the Coast immediately, and with garage sale money earned before the move, bought a horse the first day in town. He became active in Future Farmers of America during high school, and raised pigs, steers, and sheep. At age 16 he met his wife Jill, who was also an avid horse lover. “When Kevin showed up for the prom wearing a white tux and pink ruffled shirt to match Jill’s dress, we knew it was true love,” said his mom, Adora.

Kevin and Jill went off to college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, taking their horses with them. They took courses in agriculture and began building their dream for a ranch with an historical flavor. Upon graduation, they returned to Half Moon Bay, married, and began a construction and termite inspection business.

Over the years Kevin and Jill constantly searched for just the right property to begin building their dream. They located a run down parcel of 46 acres just south of Half Moon Bay. They moved into the existing 1930′s house and began working on the paddocks and pasture. The animal menagerie grew to include several horses, sheep, goats, a potbelly pig, chickens, rabbits, Australian sheepdogs, cats, two alpacas, and a camel named Benny Hill.

In 2005, they began constructing a frontier town with western facades of a jail, dressmakers shop, feed n’ fuel, barbershop and a hotel. The original barn was transformed into a saloon with authentic gambling tables and an enormous bar used in the movie set for The Quick and the Dead. A mercantile shop displays western paraphernalia for sale.

The “town” of Long Branch continues to grow, with the latest addition being The Grand Palace Parlor with the original bar from The Palace Hotel in San Francisco which survived the 1906 earthquake. Authentic museum pieces make historical tours both fascinating and educational.

Kevin and Jill’s three children – Cassidy, Kimberly, and Colton – are very much involved in the everyday running and care of the place. They feed the animals, collect the eggs, and help host the parties. The children all ride and have traveled the world with exhibition vaulting.

Kevin and his brother Cameron are active in local civic affairs. Cameron, who owns Cameron’s Inn and Pub, caters most of the events chuck wagon style next to an enormous barbecue. When you visit you will see parents Alan and Adora dressed in western garb, greeting guests as they arrive. It’s a family affair where everyone pitches in to get things done. The Long Branch is a great example of holding to a young dream and making it happen.