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Historic Warner-Carrillo Ranch House

Grand Reopening

By Betty McMillen
6/1/13 - East County Californian

Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) had a celebration on June 1. It was their Grand Reopening of the Warner-Carrillo Ranch House, a historic adobe house built around 1857. Over the years it had been a cattle ranch, Butterfield Overland Stage Station, Trading Post, and mail route stopover. It is a National Historic Landmark now but it had fallen into disrepair when abandoned and left alone to the elements in 1960.

In 2000 SOHO brought the ranch house to the attention of preservationists and together with the property owners, Vista Irrigation District, they worked on saving and restoring it for future generations to see the heritage of San Diego's back country. VID is very serious about conserving their land and it has not changed much in the last 150 years, it is still a working cattle ranch located past Santa Ysabel on the way to Warner Springs Resort.

SOHO volunteers were proud showing off one of their prized preservation efforts, the restored ranch house and the soon to be restored barn. Many were dressed in period costumes, and there were actors recreating living history and hands on interactive exhibits for the modern folks to enjoy. Union Soldiers, a washer woman, Antebellum Marine Band performing old fashion tunes, guitar players, cowboys and even cowgirls on horseback delivering mail, the old fashion way. Patty Heyden (a ranger at Lindo Park), dressed in a pioneer woman's costume, rode her horse and helped deliver mail which was a replica of historic letters, she delivered them to the decendents of the Carrillo family who were guests at the event.

A Concord Stage Coach was giving guests a rock n rolling ride pulled by Lakeside horsewoman, Souix Munyon's draft horses, she said "There is nothing like the experience of driving on the origional trail much like they did 150 years ago." SOHO Executive Director, Bruce Coons, was the brakeman on the coach. Gary McClintock, a saddle maker from Descanso, was showing off his leatherwork. It was like stepping back in time and folks were enjoying a dinner under the shade of the Cottonwood trees. The food was prepared in black kettles over an open fire.

The Adobe barn will be the next building to be restored and there will even be "Adobe brickmaking classes" for volunteers to join in the fun of creating things the old fashion way ... by hand.

For further information about SOHO go to www.facebook.com/SOHOSanDiego or call 297-9327

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