Warner-Carrillo Ranch House


I had the pleasure of visiting the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House during their Grand Opening celebration on Saturday, June 1st, 2013.

Save Our Heritage Organisation purchased the building in early 2012, sighting the Ranch House as one of the most important unprotected historic places in San Diego County.

The ranch house dates back to 1857. Doña Vicenta Sepúlveda Carrillo, a well-to-do rancher, mother, wife, built the adobe ranch building. Her and her family lived in the building until 1869. The ranch house also served as the Butterfield Stage Stop from 1851-1861. It is believed that thousands of travelers, gold miners, and soldiers visited the building during its stage stop days.

The ranch house sits in a well watered valley, with trees and vegetation. For the travelers, this was a place of celebration as it was the first stop after having traversed the desolate and dangerous deserts.

In the 1900’s the ranch house was owned by a number of cattlemen. One of which was former California Governor, John G. Downey.

The ranch house was abandoned in 1960, and has remained that way since.

The Save Our Heritage Organisation, has come in since the purchase, and have restored the building to its original form, including utilising period household furnishings. The original fireplace mantle, woodwork and vigas (rustic ceiling beams) remain.

The museum and gift shop are open Saturday & Sundays from noon – 4pm. You can visit the museum’s website at www.sohosandiego.org/warners/.


Photos from the Grand Opening:


About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.