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Fairbanks Ranch Estates and the 100th anniversary of ‘The Mark of Zorro’

The Casa Zorro designed by Wallace Nef overlooking the Zorro Lake at Fairbanks Ranch Estates.
The Casa Zorro designed by Wallace Nef overlooking the Zorro Lake at Fairbanks Ranch Estates.


(Courtesy)

The week of Nov. 23 marked the 100th anniversary of the release of the silent film “The Mark of Zorro,” starring Douglas Fairbanks, on Nov. 27, 1920. This movie introduced the dashing masked vigilante character of Zorro, and it is considered the first-ever “swashbuckler” film.

The area called Fairbanks Ranch was discovered in 1920 by Douglas Fairbanks Sr., and he purchased the property in 1924. The owners planted acres of grain, tomatoes, beans and citrus trees. Later on, it became a property where 300 acres of land were filled with Valencia oranges.

Original movie poster of The Mark of Zorro (1920) with Douglas Fairbanks
Original movie poster of The Mark of Zorro (1920) with Douglas Fairbanks
(Courtesy)

The area was called Rancho Zorro, a reminder of Fairbanks’ film role. He also built a home on the property and used it as his country retreat. The house was named Casa Zorro and overlooked the lake. The ranch was sold in 1952, after Fairbanks died.

Another view of the Casa Zorro designed by Wallace Nef overlooking the Zorro Lake at Fairbanks Ranch Estates.
Another view of the Casa Zorro designed by Wallace Nef overlooking the Zorro Lake at Fairbanks Ranch Estates.
(Courtesy)

The property was purchased by Ray Watt who transformed the ranch into a gated upscale community of luxury homes. It was then when it got the name “Fairbanks Ranch”. The 1,240 acres were covered with 618 sites. Besides the individual amenities of each estate, this coveted community also provides its own facilities. Thus, the residents can benefit from miles of jogging and walking trails, a lakeside clubhouse, five light tennis and pickleball courts, an equestrian center measuring 17 acres and having a 27-stall barn and an open space measuring 40 acres where children can play and adults can relax. Fairbanks Ranch has a population of more than 3,000 inhabitants and it includes two gated communities: the South Section and the North Section. Recently, Fairbanks Ranch was listed as one of the best places to live in California.


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