Views into the Past

Sometimes, images just “fall together”. I made these two photos independently of each other, in early May and mid of June 2013, both from East Grade Road (Highway S7), the road that more or less winds along and over Palomar Mountain in an east-west direction, beginning near Lake Henshaw, and ending/merging at the junction with South Grade Road (Highway S6).

Both images show the landscape of (former) Mexican land-grants: the area of Lake Henshaw and the Warner Springs basin is the former Rancho San Jose del Valle (Warner’s Ranch) and/or Rancho Valle de San Jose (Portilla), the area south of Palomar Mountain (and east of Escondido and Valley Center) is Rancho Guejito. The latter is one of, if not the only remaining land grant in a single parcel (privately owned). Luckily, most of the landscape in these areas has not changed too much (if we exclude Lake Henshaw and the dam, of course) and thus allow us a view into Southern California’s past. I like how the photos show just how big the areas of these land grants were. It’s hard to imagine the size when we’re looking at today’s tiny parcels of residential areas.

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All images and content © by Alexander S. Kunz, unless otherwise noted. No re-use without express written permission. Most images are available as prints and for commercial licensing. Please contact me if you’re interested. Prints and licensed images are NOT watermarked, of course.

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