In February 2023, we had the great good luck to be contacted by Chris Huntze, whose grandparents Eleanor and Wes worked at the Rancho San Carlos near Carmel, CA–the house used as the Lancer hacienda–throughout the filming period for the pilot (The Homecoming or The High Riders). Although only the pilot was filmed on location, the house features in almost every episode, both in exterior shots and in studio filming where a facsimile of the house’s main room was built on the studio lots back in Los Angeles.
Chris’s generosity knows no bounds. He raided his family archives and has sent us a veritable treasure trove of photographs, letters and articles, coupled with recollections of visits to the Rancho as a child. We now have both a very personal family history at the Rancho and some valuable insights into how the house and grounds were used during filming.
As we celebrate Lancer’s 55th anniversary this year, the Huntzes’ photographs and memories help bring the hacienda and the Lancers to life. What magnificent timing! We can’t thank Chris deeply enough for his generosity in sharing, and his kind help and comments as we put these pages together.
In this section, you’ll find information on:
- Eleanor and Wes Huntze – whose family archive this is
- With the family’s photographs and Chris’s recollections:
The House at Rancho San Carlos
The Rancho’s Grounds
- Filming the pilot episode – how the house and grounds were used during filming, with photographs, articles, a charming letter from Eleanor to a friend written at the height of filming (but possibly never sent!), and insights from Chris.
Other useful links:
The Hacienda main page
Aerial views of the house and environs, taken from Google Earth