Rancho Guejito

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rancho Guejito (pronounced WA-HEE-TA)[1] is a 13,299-acre (54 km2) Mexican land grant in Southern California, approximately seven miles east of Escondido. It is among the last Mexican land grants (along with Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores[2]) still a single parcel of land.


In 1845, the 13,299-acre (53.82 km2) Rancho Guejito y Cañada de Palomia was granted by Mexican Governor Pio Pico to customs inspector and Justice of the Peace José María Orozco.[3]

Subsequent owners purchased adjacent properties, expanding the total acreage to about 22,000 acres (89 km2).

The rancho was nearly purchased in the 1970s by the State of California for $10 million. However, the purchase was vetoed by the governor. In 1974, industrialist Benjamin Coates purchased the land for $10 million. Since then, the land has remained mostly undeveloped and used as a cattle ranch.

After Coates died in 2004, ownership of the land passed to The Rodney Company, headed by Coates's daughter Theodate Coates.

Between 2003 and 2007, approximately 93 percent of the area was burned in several wildfires. An October 22, 2007 fire that began on the tract was dubbed the "Guejito Fire." The Guejito Fire merged into the Witch Fire early on October 22, which went on to burn homes in Rancho Bernardo and resulted in two deaths.[4][5]

Modern development of the Rancho[edit]

In 2009, representatives from The Rodney Co. contacted the county to discuss plans for developing the tract. Representatives proposed building approximately 10,000 homes and preserving about 16,000 of the 22,000 acres (89 km2) in its natural state. Conservationists and residents of nearby communities have opposed development of the land.[6]

In 2012, San Diego County fined the Rancho Guejito Corporation $150,000, the maximum allowed by law, for illegally constructing a road on the property.[7]


  1. ^ Coons, Bruce (January 2007). "A Brief History of Ranch Guejito". Save Our Heritage Organisation Magazine. 38 (1). Retrieved 2007-05-25.
  2. ^ Hebert, Edgar (July 1961). "Las Flores". Journal of San Diego History. 7 (3). Retrieved 2007-11-25.
  3. ^ Coons, Bruce (January 2007). "A Brief History of Ranch Guejito". Save Our Heritage Organisation Magazine. 38 (1). Retrieved 2007-05-25.
  4. ^ "Fast-acting blaze took fire officials by surprise". The San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved 2009-10-28.
  5. ^ "California Fire Siege 2007: An Overview" (PDF). 8 January 2009. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  6. ^ Anton, Mike (May 24, 2007). "A plot both wide and thick". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-05-25.
  7. ^ Jones, J. Harry. "Illegal road at Rancho Guejito leads to fines". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 28 October 2015.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°09′36″N 116°54′00″W / 33.160°N 116.900°W / 33.160; -116.900