The Baldridges owned the ranch for 38 years. Texas-born Baldridge came to California at a very young age and later opened a livery stable at 35 E. Villa St. in Pasadena. One day while driving around, he came upon the property and decided it suited his needs. By the next year, he had built a hilltop nest for himself and his wife and named the property "Onondarka," which means, in the language of one of the area's indigenous peoples, "House on the Hill," according to "Scraps of History," a column from a 1947 Ledger newspaper provided by Crescenta Valley historian Mike Lawler.
Baldridge was known as "the Colonel," although he was never in the military. Current owner Dolores Knox recalled that Baldridge "told us he was a colonel in name only. One of his workers was a captain, so he took on the nickname of colonel in order to boss the captain."
The Knoxes only met Baldridge once, but Dolores Knox described him as a memorable character.
"It was an exciting day for us," she said. "He was a very vigorous man. We could hardly keep up with him although he was in his 80s. He was telling us minute by minute what he had done. We walked up the hill and he showed us how he brought the water and gas to the house."
Baldridge told them that when the house was built, carpenters were getting $3 a day and lumber was sold at $3 a hundred board-feet. Baldridge's workers hauled rocks by mule wagon up from the wash for two weeks to build the house's foundation. Then for five more months they hauled more rock to build a small wall from the entrance of the property up to the house.
The old homestead built by Englehardt became a residence for others.