Our Story - The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe
California History and a Passion for Living in the Present
Before Ms. Rice’s gifted transformation, the property was part of Rancho San Dieguto, an 8,824-acre land grant deeded by Spain in 1840 to Juan Maria Osuna, first mayor of Pueblo de San Diego.
In 1906, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad purchased the land to cultivate eucalyptus trees to convert into railway ties. When the wood proved too soft, the railroad formed the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company, which hired the San Diego architectural firm of Requa and Jackson, and Ms. Rice went to work.
Her first building, a guesthouse in the Spanish Revival Style was called La Morada, "the house of many rooms." Originally intended to provide accommodations to prospective property owners, La Morada was transferred to private ownership in 1940 and renamed The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.
Up until her death in 1938, Lilian Rice continued to transform The Village, homes and The Inn into the marvels of architecture and livability you see today.
We welcome you to enjoy the history of this very special place, and most importantly, to live in the spirit of the moment.