Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker

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Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker
Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker.jpg
Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker: Wealthy landowner of Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
Born Arcadia Bandini
San Diego, California
Died 1912
Santa Monica, California
Spouse(s) Abel Stearns, Robert Symington Baker
Parents Juan Bandini and Marie de los Dolores Estudio

Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker (1825–1912) was a wealthy Los Angeles landowner and Californiana.

Early life in San Diego[edit]

Arcadia Bandini born 1825 in San Diego, California, the eldest of three daughters of Juan Bandini and Marie de los Dolores Estudio. Arcadia and her two sisters were considered the most beautiful women of California. According to tradition, the first United States flag flown over the plaza in Old Town San Diego on July 29, 1846, was made by Arcadia and her two sisters out of red and blue flannel dresses and a white crib sheet.[1]

Abel Stearns in Los Angeles[edit]

At age 14 Bandini married 43-year-old Abel Stearns. Stearns was a former U.S. citizen who became a Mexican citizen and converted to Catholicism in order to do business and own property in Mexican California. [2] He had become one of the wealthiest men in Los Angeles and Arcadia had a sizable dowry in land. They lived in an elegant adobe, El Palacio, in Los Angeles. He died in 1871.

During this period of her life, in the 1850s and 1860s, Bandini "ruled Los Angeles society."[3]

Colonel Robert S. Baker in Santa Monica[edit]

In 1874 she married Colonel Robert S. Baker (1826–1894), owner of Rancho San Vicente y Santa Monica, and they settled in Santa Monica. Baker died in 1894 and Arcadia was again widowed.[4]


Arcadia de Baker died in 1912, and is interred at Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles.[5] She left an estate of seven to eight million dollars, with no will. The estate was widely contested, with several cousins hoping for a share of the money.[6]


  1. ^ Patricia Baker (1969). "The Bandini Family". Retrieved 2010-05-15. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Eileen V. Wallis (Summer 2009). ""Keeping Alive the Old Tradition": Spanish-Mexican Club Women in Southern California, 1880-1940". Southern California Quarterly 91 (2): 133–154. 
  4. ^ Baker Family
  5. ^ "Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker". Find a Grave. Retrieved August 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ Rancho Guajome An Architectural Legacy Preserved