Rancho Santa Fe
Rancho Santa Fe or ‘The Ranch,’ as it is known locally, was first inhabited by Kumeyaay Indian communities until being colonized by Spanish conquistadors in the early 19th century.
In the 1830’s, a significant portion of then-called Rancho San Dieguito, came under the possession of Juan Maria Osuna. A respected soldier in the San Diego Company, Osuna’s ranch overlooks the San Dieguito River Valley where his now-protected adobe house still stands.
At the turn of the century, the Santa Fe Railway purchased Osuna’s tract and several others that had made up the San Dieguito area. The new owners littered the landscape with millions of fast-growing eucalyptus trees in hopes of supplying cheap lumber for railroad ties. The experiment failed, but ultimately culminated in the development of gentleman-farmer estates, setting the stage for the California community to blossom.
Throughout the 20th century a long line of notable persons left indelible marks on The Ranch.
One is Lilian Rice – designer and master architect of the ‘Village’ Civic Center.
Another, L.G. Sinnard, led the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company in 1921. Under his direction, Rancho Santa Fe’s rural infrastructure was planned, constructed, and standardized over five years.
Colonel Ed Fletcher, former California State Senator and salesman, worked with the Santa Fe Railway and other community leaders to undertake the construction of the Lake Hodges Dam.
Today, Rancho Santa Fe is a vibrant community, rich in architecture, California culture and history. To date 9 historically significant buildings have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.
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Updated Jan 18, 2018 12:32:am.
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