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The founding of the San Luis Rey Mission brought local Native Americans to live at and
work for the Mission. What is now Vista became grazing land.

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1798

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1835

The independence of Mexico from Spain granted land ownership to individuals and
ushered in the time of the Ranchos.

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1845

Three ranchos were granted to Vista in this way...

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Rancho Buena Vista Adobe, located in what is now the center of town.

Rancho Guajome Adobe, north of town on North Santa Fe Ave.

Agua Hedionda Y los Monos, in Shadowridge and Carlsbad.

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1879

Buena Vista Winery was founded by the Delpy family at the corner of Foothill drive
and East Vista Way. Most smaller Vista agricultural holdings failed due to the
scarcity of water in the Vista area.

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1882

The founding of Vista Post Office by John Frazier gave Vista its name.

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1887

The railroad was completed between Oceanside and Escondido, allowing crops
to be brought to the coast for shipping.

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1913

The location of downtown was permanently set by the opening of Vista Inn at
the corner of Santa Fe and Main Street, and the train depot across the street.

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1917

The Vista Union School District was established with the combination of the Vista, Buena and Delpy districts.

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1923

Growth of the area required a better water supply than provided by the Vista after Company wells, and so
the Vista Irrigation District was created by vote of the people.

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1926

After three years of construction, the new Lake Henshaw water supply was turned on, making
all subsequent agricultural, residential and commercial development possible.

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1936

Once the effects of the Depression abated, growth resumed and increased through WWII and beyond.

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A population of 400 in 1926 grew to 19,000 in 1963, and more than 95,000 call Vista home today.
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2017
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Museum Hours:
Wed-Fri, 1at & 2nd Sat
10:00am - 2:30 pm

Museum Address:
2317 Old Foothill Dr.
Vista, CA 92084

Mailing Address:
P.O.Box 1032 Vista,
CA 92085

Telephone:

(760) 630-0444

Fax Number:
(760) 295-9993

Find Us

A vital part of Vista’s heritage is the Vista Historical Society’s Museum at Rancho Minerva, where staff and docents preserve and honor the past while serving the present.

Our new museum is in itself an imposing part of Vista’s history. It was built by Nick Huntalas, an indomitable Greek immigrant who came here in 1911 and dry-farmed acreage along what is now Foothill Drive. Ample water arrived in 1926, and there ensued a thriving community rich with groves and field crops.

By 1934, Nick and his wife, Bessie, had realized their dream home. It was constructed with adobe bricks fashioned from soil dug for the foundation. The imposing two-story home features a sparkling white exterior, a red tile roof, an 18-foot-tall living room ceiling and a number of inviting rooms that are now filled with memorabilia of early Vista and its dynamic residents.

Over the years, Vistans were warmly welcomed at Rancho Minerva for social events, and now it is the privilege of our docents to greet visitors and make them feel at home in this historic place.

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