On November 20, 2013, Linda Ralphs Kaeser, a third-generation Ralphs and member of the 4S Ranch Master Board, spoke on her memories of the land before and as it was developed.
Purchased in 1938 by her grandfather, Albert Ralphs, the 3,600-acre ranch known as 4S, offered open space for grazing livestock, tomato cultivation and citrus orchards, while the Hispanic-style hacienda—built from the ground up using a poured-in-place technique—offered a welcome summer retreat for many years. Planning for the residential and commercial development began in the late 1970s, and in 1981, the Ralphs family formed a development enterprise in partnership with Newland Communities, retaining 1,200 acres and the original ranch—including the ninety-year-old hacienda—in an effort to preserve and protect the property and its history.
During her talk, Ms. Ralphs shared many memories of the occasions and activities shared by her family as they enjoyed the respite of the remote location. With a well and generator, the retreat offered the basic necessities without yielding to the luxury of modern comfort. ‘We lived completely off the grid,’ says Ms. Ralphs, ‘with dirt roads and no access to public services. That is how we elected to spend our time there, enriched by natural beauty and the sounds of the wind through the eucalyptus trees.’