Friday, March 7, 2014



Outside the chapel
Entrance to the house
We joined a DayTripper group to visit the Santa Margarita Ranch House complex at Camp Pendleton which  includes the Ranch House built in 1827, the bunkhouse and a chapel that was originally the winery.  It was the home of Pio Pico, last governor of Mexican California, and succeeding owners Don Juan Forster, the O'Neills, Floods, Baumgartners and, finally, United States Marine Corps Commanding Generals. Historic artifacts at the complex document pre-history through Mission and Rancho periods, the 1942 purchase of Camp Pendleton by the government,  and reflect the WWII and the Korean War.
Exhibits include early ranch equipment, photographs of President Roosevelt's historic visit and  antiques donated by Anthony Quinn during the filming of "Guadalcanal Diary" in 1943.

Camp Pendleton is the major West coast base of the U.S, Marine Corps and was named after Major General Joseph Pendleton.
Lake O’Neill was constructed across Fallbrook Creek in 1883, was historically used primarily to store water for farm irrigation. Today it is used as a recreation area in Camp Pendleton.
The group enjoyed a Mexican lunch at El Callejon restaurant in Vista before going on to Rancho Buena Vista which was given in 1845  by governor Pio Pico to Felipe Subria, a mission Indian.
The land grant was south of the San Luis river and encompassed present day Vista. 
The ranch changed hands many times over the years and was acquired by the City of Vista in 1989. The adobe is the best preserved early California home of the more than 25 ranchos in San Diego County.