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All Rights Reserved.

4S Ranch History

 
 

4S RANCH - PAST & PRESENT 

The Ralphs family - 1940 

Ava Ralphs overlooking Lake Hodges, circa 1945, grandmother of Linda Ralphs Kaeser, 4S Ranch HOA Board Member. 

 


Modern History

Located in the scenic hills of north San Diego County, this 2300-acre community features homes with varied architecture, eco-friendly facades and front porches. Quiet tree-lined neighborhoods with walkable promenades are clustered around 4S Commons, the town center. 4S Ranch is among California's finest new communities. Developed by Newland Communities in partnership with the Ralphs family, 4S Ranch features single-family homes created by a variety of homebuilders offering richly diverse exterior styles.

 

 

The Ralphs family barn.

 


4S Ranch Master Association provides a  diversity of architectural and natural elements. With more than ten miles of walking trails and over 1,600 acres of dedicated open space, a community garden, town green, splash park, a baseball field and access to lush public spaces, 22-acres of community parks, and proximity to 4S Commons, with retail outlets and a top-rated County library.

 Photo courtesy of California West Homes


 


Early History

During the early 1800s, Spanish settlers from Mission San Diego de Alcala grazed livestock in the valleys and hills of what is now 4S Ranch. In 1842, Captain Joseph Snook was granted a massive 17,000 acres of the land in an area he called Rancho San Bernardo—some of which land would eventually become known as 4S Ranch. He constructed a large adobe near the site of an original structure sacked in the Indian uprising of 1837. Here he settled with his wife, Maria Antonia Alvarado, until his death in 1852.

The land remained under the ownership of Ms. Antonia Alvarado until her death in 1860. The land was divided and changed hands several times until in 1921 Albert E. Smith purchased the area that is now 4S Ranch and began to give it shape. Aerial photography from 1928 reveals that several acres of eucalyptus trees and orchards were planted, and two stone-and-concrete dams constructed in the La Jolla Valley.

The Albert Ralphs family bought the property in 1938, developing the open space as grazing land for livestock, as well as tomato cultivation and citrus orchards—which were irrigated by water fed by the dam reservoirs. Ground wells provided water for both domestic and agricultural needs, and preserved the beauty of the land. Planning for the residential and commercial development began in the late 1970s, with environmental studies initiated in the early 1980s. A dynamic and richly diverse community, 4S Ranch relies on the Master Association to provide leadership and oversight to its members that preserves its traditional nature and promotes future-friendly decisions, while protecting the value of its natural resources and preserving architectural integrity. The Ralphs family continues to stay involved in protecting the family friendly community.

Historic Resources