​Serendipity was at work when newspaperman E.W. Scripps came to California in 1890 to see his ailing sister, Annie in Alameda. Seeing that she was on the road to recovery, he boarded a steamship for a four-days visit to San Diego. He didn't think much of it, describing it as a "busted, broken down boom town," but as he traveled north, he became more and more excited. The climate and the foliage reminded him of Algeria, one of the few places in the world where he had remained free of the colds that had plagued him all his life. Arriving at a barren, arid mesa 16 miles from town, he decided to build a home, Miramar, named after the Archduke Maximilian's castle in Trieste, Italy.

He and his mentor, his beloved half-sister, Ellen Browning Scripps, purchased 400 acres of what is today Scripps Ranch for $5,000. Only 30 acres were to be E.W.'s, for his home and grounds; the rest would belong to Ellen. Eventually he acquired 2,100 acres, becoming a laughingstock for investing in the stony, treeless, waterless, hopeless acreage. Undaunted, he immediately started to build what he thought would be a "winter" home to which he could escape during the cold months in Illinois. He supervised construction of the ranch for eight years, completing the adobe east wing in 1898.

By 1900 it became the family's year round home, with E.W. seldom leaving it until 1917. He modeled the permanent residence, his dream home, after the architecture in North Africa, building three sides of a square around a paved courtyard with a fountain in the center and turreted rooms on three corners.

The estate grounds were covered with citrus, pine, eucalyptus, and other beautiful trees, some of which still stand at the Scripps Ranch Swim and Racquet Club on Aviary Drive. Ellen lived at Miramar until 1897 while her home in La Jolla was being built, but sisters Annie and Virginia and brother George also lived in the mansion at various times. Fred, another brother (there were thirteen siblings), had attempted to grow a lemon orchard on the ranch, but was unsuccessful in the effort.

E.W., whose pride and joy in Miramar never waned, conducted most of his business from the ranch, only occasionally making trips to his many newspaper offices around the country. He loved the quality of life it afforded him and his family, just as today's residents do.

(Most of this information is from E.W. and Ellen Browning Scripps: An Unmatched Pair, by Scripps Ranch resident Charles Preece. It is available at the Scripps Ranch Library and can be purchased in bookstores and at the library's Book Nook.)

“Reprinted with permission from the Scripps Ranch Civic Association Newsletter.”

And NOW in Scripps Ranch

Scripps Ranch is a quiet community in northeast San Diego in zip code 92131. It has a population of around 32,500 residents. Scripps Ranch is known for its abundance of eucalyptus trees, low crime, thriving businesses, and fantastic schools. Scripps Ranch has many parks and great areas to relax, go for a walk, jog, run, or to take the dogs out, including Lake Miramar, Spring Canyon Park, Hendrix Pond, Lake View Park, Miramar Overlook Park, Hoyt Park, and many more!

Scripps Ranch has a variety of residential real estate from condos, townhomes, and rental apartments to large homes. All of these properties are supported by an outstanding school district, multiple well-established businesses, parks, hotels, dining and shops. Scripps Ranch offers many community events including an annual fair and parade and a weekly farmers market. All of these perks make Scripps Ranch one the best places to live, own a home, learn, work, and play!

Other Benefits of Scripps Ranch

Scripps is centrally located in San Diego County, making it possible to get to any part of the county in decent time. Home values in Scripps Ranch historically remain stable when the market is down, and due to the high demand to live here and above-average standard of living, Scripps Ranch homes are often increasing in value. Weather in Scripps Ranch is very moderate, making it an ideal place to enjoy the outdoors, host barbeques, and raise a family. The average high is 70º, the average low is 54º, and average annual rainfall is 11.16 inches.

For Home Buyers and Sellers

Within the Scripps Ranch community there are approximately 12,000 housing units, but the vacancy rate is often less than 6%. Because of this, it is important to have a San Diego real estate agent/realtor like Adam Young to assist you in aggressively pursuing this area and finding homes as soon as they become available, as they often sell quickly. It is equally important for home-sellers to have representation in order to properly market the home at the optimal price. Having a real estate agent market your home provides more visibility and opportunity to receive more offers, better offers, and sell faster.

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Updated: 19th March, 2019 8:49 AM.