Warner Carrillo Ranch

Warner Springs, CA
United States
Warner Carrillo Ranch

Located in a rural valley some 60 miles northeast of San Diego, this one-acre historic site was originally part of the nearly 27,000-acre Rancho San Jose Valle land grant awarded by the Mexican government to Juan Jose Warner in 1849. Warner, who was also given a separate 16,000-acre land grant, established the sole trading post between New Mexico and Los Angeles near a fork of the Southern Emigrant Trail. Many members of the indigenous Cupeño tribe came from nearby settlements to work at the ranch. The property was acquired by woman rancher Vincenta Carrillo who built the site’s current ranch house and adjoining barn in 1857 and 1858, respectively. The ranch continued to be a stopover during the goldrush, functioning as a resupply station on the Butterfield Stage line, California’s first overland stage connection along the Missouri Trail, from 1857 to 1861. Surrounded by rolling foothills and scrubland, the 43,000-acre ranch was operated by a series of owners before being purchased by the Vista Water District in 1946. The ranch house and barn now serve as a museum operated by the Save Our Heritage Organisation, and those structures, as well as an expanded nineteenth-century barn immediately to the west, have been restored. Adjoining the rear of the latter is a series of cattle pens. Located north and west of the ranch house is a barn and house built at the turn of the twentieth century. The Warner Carrillo Ranch was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1962 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1971.