Bumann Ranch in Encinitas officially on state, national historic registry

Bumann ranch owner Richard Bumann shows off this 1923 Model T to participants of an Encinitas history tour that visited the property as one of their many stops throughout the city recently.
(Don Boomer)

Family orders bronze plaque for display at property’s edge


The National Register of Historic Places, which contains such icons as the Golden Gate Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, now also includes a ranch established by an Olivenhain homesteader in the 1880s.

In a letter dated March 13, California Historic Preservation Officer Julianne Polanco informed the ranch’s current owners -- Richard and Adeline “Twink” Bumann -- that all the paperwork is complete and the ranch is officially listed on both the National Register and the California Register of Historical Resources.

The latest additions to the national list can be viewed at:

Richard Bumann, whose grandfather Herman Friedrich Bumann established the ranch, said last week that he’s just ordered a one-foot-by-two-foot bronze plaque to commemorate the ranch’s new historic status.

“I’ll make a stone monument and it’ll be mounted on that stone monument,” he said, adding that the marker would go near the entrance to the family property off of Fortuna Ranch Road.

Bumann said he has ordered a big enough plaque that there’s space for several sentences detailing the site’s history. The new marker will note that the ranch was established by his grandfather in 1886 and that it ultimately expanded to 480 acres with the help of his grandfather’s wife, Emma. Much of the ranch’s income came from raising cattle, poultry and bees, and making wine, though the ranch also produced wheat, barley, oats and beans.

After noting that “12 children were born here and four generations of the Bumann family have called this home,” the plaque will conclude by informing people that many buildings on the site are “carefully preserved and unchanged,” and “this ranch offers one of the last remaining examples of homestead ranching in San Diego County.”

For now, visitors will be few and far between. The ranch is only open to the public twice a year as part of the Encinitas Preservation Association’s bus tour events. The Bumanns eventually hope to make the place a field trip destination for area school children.

The property, which currently totals 10 acres, contains many buildings from its earliest days. The original, 10-foot-by-12-foot shanty where Herman Bumann lived for the first six years while homesteading is still standing. There’s also a bee house and a granary that date from the 1890s, plus two old barns, and blacksmith’s shed.

In her letter announcing the federal listing, Polanco wrote that the new historic status grants the property more than just fame. It also “provides a degree of protection” from development projects and grants some preservation incentives, including special building code rules and tax advantages, she wrote.

“(However), there are no restrictions placed upon a private property owner with regard to normal use, maintenance, or sale of a property listed in the National Register,” she added.

-- Barbara Henry is a freelance writer for The San Diego Union-Tribune