Article Index

Vista Ranchos

Vista had three ranchos granted in this way. The Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, located in what is now the center of town, came into existence in 1845 and had several owners over the years. The main house is now owned by the City of Vista as a park.

Rancho Guajome Adobe, located north of town on North Santa Fe Ave., was also created in 1845. Abel Stearns, who bought the land, gave the rancho as a wedding gift to his sister-in-law, Ysidora Bandini, when she married Cave Couts in 1851. This was probably the most successful of the Vista ranchos. The Couts family at one time owned several surrounding ranchos. The size of the holding increased from about 2200 acres to over 20,000 acres. The same family owned the rancho until the County acquired it in 1973. Today the house and surrounding area constitute a county park, the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum, and The Guajome Park Academy.

The third rancho is Agua Hedionda Y los Monos. This 2600-acre ranch, located in Shadowridge and adjacent Carlsbad, was originally part of the 13,000- acre Marron Rancho dating from 1842. Most of the rancho is now developed. The University of California owns a portion as a preserve. The home is still in the ownership of the Kelly family, who inherited the land in 1870. The ranchos faded due to changing political conditions and a drought in the 1860's. Smaller agricultural holdings were created, most of which failed due to the scarcity of water in the Vista area.

(760) 630-0444

The Vista Historical Museum will be closed for the holidays beginning Friday December 15. The Office will reopen Tuesday January 2 and the Museum will reopen Wednesday January 3.


2317 Old Foothill Dr.
Vista, CA 92084






P.O.Box 1032
Vista, CA 92085

(760) 295-9993

The Vista Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization IRS number 95-3752966