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Monday, Oct 3, 2022

These Walls Do Talk, Telling a Tale of a Colorful History

The stairs leading up from the driveway to the breezeway and entrance into the main living area. Photo courtesy of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty
The updated kitchen with expansive views of the ocean and mountains to the north, coastline to the south. Photo courtesy of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty
A Juliet balcony off one of the bedrooms in the main home. Photo courtesy of Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty

Imagine a time 100 years ago when the city of Vista was a mere 1,000 or so residents and was just coming into its own. In 1923, water was finally being brought in from Lake Henshaw and settlers from all over the world were populating the area with agricultural and business pursuits.

It was 1928 when the authentic adobe hacienda on 80 acres of land was built at what is now 2465 Catalina Ave. in Vista.

The home is some 800 feet above sea level and a world away from the hustle bustle of town.

At the top of a dead-end street are impressive iron gates that open to the drive leading up to the property. As the gates swing open, it’s not hard to imagine what it must have been like when there was nothing more than a few farms far off in the distance below and the screech of a hawks circling high above.

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The original home is alive with history and has stood witness to the growth of Southern California and the events of the last 100 years.

It has been lived in and cherished by all who occupied it during the years. The integrity and ambience of a classic Spanish hacienda rancho has been preserved even with the incorporation of modern amenities.

During the last century since the original hacienda was constructed, other structures were added to create a multi-use compound.

The current owner, who has owned the home for the past 30 years, grew up in the historic 19th century hacienda Rancho Guajome Adobe in Vista, now a National Historic Landmark. He brought that deep sense of familial connection and respect for the legacy and love of the land to every improvement and addition made to the home during the years.

Criss Crozier, a Realtor with Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, has the listing on the approximately 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, six-bath property on 1.45 acres. The last listing price was a range from $1.6 million to $1.9 million. It’s currently not for sale.

The impressive iron gates open and the long paved drive weaves it way upward through an orchard of 100 or more fruit trees to a circular drive adorned with a large bubbling fountain.

“The original property was 80 acres that was parceled off over time.” Crozier said. “It was a land grant back then, before Vista was Vista.”

The primary, original structure is where the living area is with an authentic Spanish fireplace, modern kitchen, bedrooms and baths. Off of the western side is a large covered veranda — this is where the view stops your heart.

It was the clearest of days, the entire expanse of ocean ahead, San Clemente Island, Catalina Island, the mountains to the north and the coastline to the south.

“It has gobs and gobs of character,” Crozier said. “This one has a lot more soul than most.”

The home has endured earthquakes, rainstorms, droughts and even a fire. Crozier said that during the fire, not much burned because even though the walls are white stucco, underneath are adobe bricks that don’t burn. Now, there is a fireplug on the property that can drain water from the pool for firefighting.

“After the fire, the owners found a still.” Crozier said. “So it was a literally a hot place for celebrities to come during the prohibition and drink good vodka.”

On the back side of the main structure is breezeway or promenade of sorts, paved with stone and lined with low stone walls. An authentic pizza oven and charming seating areas add to the ambience.

A set of stone steps, all quarried from the local hills by the owner, according to Crozier, leads up to a workshop that would be suitable for an artist, woodworker or as an additional playhouse.

The extensive pool area was the former reservoir that was converted in 2006. The area has a full outdoor kitchen, large fireplace, storage room, casita, spa and an elaborate 38-foot stone slide with hidden tide pools to sit in on the way down. But, it’s from here that the true impact of its location hits.

“We were having a ‘sundowner’ (party for agents and interested buyers) and everybody was talking and having fun and all that stuff,” Crozier said. “And just as the sun was getting low, everyone just stopped what they were doing and sat in complete silence, waiting for the sunset.”

It’s a house of nooks and crannies, memories and mysteries and views unlike few others elsewhere in the county.

“It’s a historical gem that cannot be replicated.” Crozier said.

Send luxury real estate items to sglidden@sdbj.com.


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