Letters/Opinion: Sept. 27


Letter to RSF and those attending the Rancho Days Celebrations 2018

One-hundred years ago in the fall of 1918 the Lake Hodges Dam was completed, turning a desert canyon into a garden paradise and by 1922 Rancho Santa Fe was born.

The Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society is embarking on one of its most significant events by planning for the 2018 Centennial Celebration of Lake Hodges and the completion of this monumental dam. The Historical Society wishes to invite all of the Village organizations to make note of and use the occasion of Rancho Days to join in recognizing this historic event. Our intentions have been looked on favorably by the Rancho Santa Fe Association and support is also being shown by the City of San Diego’s Public Utilities management, owners and operators of the Lake Hodges Reservoir and Dam.

In 1916 a group of forward-thinking developers commenced construction of the innovative, multiple arch structure. At the instigation of the renowned Col. Ed Fletcher, built and underwritten by the Santa Fe Railway, an adjunct of the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe Railroad, in one dramatic venture the property owners solved the question of eucalyptus trees unsuited for cutting into railroad ties. The immediate benefit to the Santa Fe Railway was to increase its carloads of oranges and other produce shipped east and our citrus groves quickly expanded. Plans were soon laid for the Village of Rancho Santa Fe. By now, we all know well the succeeding story as our community and those of several others sprang up and have used the water from Lake Hodges over the past 100 years for homes, ranches, agriculture, golf and other recreational purposes.

This grand celebration will lead to many other tributes to people, plans, organizations, and buildings that quickly ensued after 1918 and the advent of the Rancho Santa Fe Covenant in 1928.

We are very pleased that this opportunity can serve to draw all of us together in a celebration that will have special events and likely a joint event at the lakeside with its City of San Diego proprietors. We expect and encourage that several other communities and groups will independently follow with plans and similar events that the Centennial warrants.

John Vreeburg, President

RSF Historical Society