Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Well, it's taken me a while, but here is my post on the highlight of my California trip. I've already shown you the peacocks, but the Leo Carrillo Ranch has so much more to enjoy. But first, some history:

Actor, preservationist and conservationist Leo Carrillo (1880-1961) was born in Los Angeles.

As an entertainer Leo was highly successful, appearing in 15 major stage plays and more than 90 motion pictures.

Leo's greatest fame, however, came from his portrayal of Pancho, the mischievous sidekick to Duncan Renaldo's Cisco Kid in a pioneering television series of the early 1950's. (If you remember the show, you've got to be around my age!)

Shot entirely in color - a first in tv production - its 156 action-western episodes ran for six enormously popular years.

At the peak of his film career Leo felt an intense yearning to find a retreat where he could re-create an Old California-style working rancho, an important cultural asset he felt was rapidly dying out. In 1937 he came across the Rancho de Los Kiotes in what is now southeast Carlsbad. Leo quickly snapped up his first 840 acres for $65,000 or $77 per acre. He immediately began construction of 18 structures necessary for his ranch operations and, over time, increased his spread to 2,538 acres.

In 1977 the city acquired a tiny 10.5 acre remnant that contained and protected the most critical original buildings. A $5.5 million catch-up round of restoration has now been completed.

A required transfer of 16.4 acres from contiguous residential developers has expanded the Park site to 27 acres.

Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park is an extraordinary educational and passive recreational resource, the envy of all Californians, and a visitor destination.

In this case, a photo is worth a thousand words, so I will simply post a sampling of photos from the day of our visit so you can see what a beautiful place the Carrillo Ranch is (you can click on the photos for a closer view):

We spent a lovely afternoon at the ranch, the weather co-operated, and we had the whole place almost to ourselves. We meandered around drinking in the beauty of the gardens and the architecture as well as the
all-pervading refreshing!


  1. Great pictures and an interesting looking place, with proper cactuses or is that cacti. Was that red stuff carpet on some of the steps, or some kind of red cement?

  2. You know, Snafu. I honestly don't remember walking on carpet, so I think it must have been cement. Those stone pathways are very uneven and many are quite treacherous for those unsteady on their feet, so perhaps they had been cemented over, for safety's sake.

  3. It all looks very peaceful and serene to meander through. Lovely pictures, Kathy.

  4. Some great photos here, Kay. I especially like the palm tree with the palm frond shadows. Yes, it is certainly a beautiful place. -- and I do remember Pancho. It was cement, Snafu and Kay. I know because it was very uneven and I had to walk carefully.