Nestled among the Sierra del Salinas of the upper Carmel Valley, is the site of the former Carmel Valley Ranch School, founded by Helen Lisle and Celinea "Bunny" Wells. Miss Wells and Miss Lisle were school teachers from New England, with an innovative approach to teaching. Their ideas was to start an eastern private school on a western ranch.
The plan was for the school to run from October to May, with the teachers accompanying the student by train from the east to California and back, allowing for special stops along the way, with their routes varying through the northern and southern United States. The parents liked this program because of the travel education it provided the children.
The first school sites was located near the present-day Carmel Valley Manor. In 1929, a new location was found. Mr. Russell Hastings had just purchased a ranch in upper Carmel Valley.