Built in 1868
This 6,000-square-foot ranch complex is C-shaped, with a carriage house at one end and a two-story building at the other. It is one of only a few authentic nineteenth-century adobe ranch houses of its kind—combining both Hacienda and Monterey architectural styles.
What is Monterey-style architecture?
Monterey-style buildings are two-story buildings with a porch across the front at the second story.
What is Hacienda-style architecture?
Hacienda-style buildings are one story, with rooms arranged in a row and doors opening onto a covered porch.
The original construction was mainly adobe with rubble-stone footings. The walls had lime plaster exteriors and earthen plaster interiors witha lime whitewash. The two-story portion had 36"-thick exterior walls and 24"-thick interior walls. Wood timbers supported the second floor and roof, and the floors were made of wood.
What is adobe?
Adobe bricks are made of mud and straw. The mix is put into molds made of wood, and the bricks are dried in the sun.
What is lime?
Lime is made from shells or limestone, and is used in mortar, plaster, and whitewash.
- John Forster obtains deed to Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores
from his brother-in-law, Pio Pico.
- Las Flores Adobe is built by Marcus Forster, son of John.
- Las Flores becomes a stage coach stop.
- Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores
is sold to James C. Flood of San Francisco after the death of Forster and his wife.
- Las Flores Adobe and 1,500 acres are leased to the Magee Family as tenant farmers.
- U.S. government acquires the land to establish Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
- Ruth Magee, last resident of Las Flores, dies.
- Adobe is restored by Camp Pendleton and the National Park Service.
Restoration of the Rancho Las Flores
Abandoned since the 1960s, the ranch house and adjacent farm structures had slowly fallen into disrepair. Camp Pendleton and the National Park Service began an active restoration project in 2000.
The deterioration was reversed, and the structure was stabilized and seismically retrofitted to protect it from earthquakes.
The Last 12,000 Years
Native American Period
12,000 Years Ago
Native Americans in southern California
It is not known when the first people arrived in this area, but archaeological evidence goes back at least 12,000 years in southern California.
8,000 Years Ago
Native Americans living along Las Flores Creek
For thousands of years Native American hunter-gatherers have lived here—through major environmental changes including climate warming and rising sea levels at the end of the last ice age.
1,500 Years Ago
Bow and arrow being used.
1,000 Years Ago
Ceramics being made.
Mexican and Spanish Period
The first Spanish enter the valley.
The Spanish expedition led by Portola in 1769 encountered Native Americans at the village of Uchme here at Las Flores Creek.
At that time 5,000 - 10,000 Luiseño and Juaneño people lived in a 1,500 square-mile area.
San Juan Capistrano is founded.
The founding of the missions and presidios was the beginning of Spanish political and military control over the Native Americans in the area.
The first Spanish in the area were mainly priests and soldiers.
Mexico gains independence from Spain.
After Mexican independence, Spanish mission lands were divided up into land grants for ranching.
Most of the Native inhabitants were forced to leave by the 1840s.
United States takes control of southern California.
After the United States took control of the area, cattle ranching declined and commercial farming flourished.
Camp Pendleton is established.
Now the local economy revolves around the military. Many Americans first visit the Las Flores area as soldiers in the United States Marine Corps.
Today, the Luiseño people number more than 3,000 who are enrolled at six independent reservations covering less than 70 square miles in Sand Diego and Riverside counties. The Juaneño people have no reservation.