History of Vista, California

Luiseno Indians were the first inhabitants of Vista. In 1798, the San Lui Rey Mission was established which brought about a change. After Mexico gained independence, the Mexican government started the process of allotting lands to various people, which heralded the Rancho era of California.

The area of Vista was divided into three ranchos named Rancho Guajome, Rancho Buena Vista and Agua Hedionda Y los Manos. On January 28, 1963, Vista attained the status of a city. As a result of the incorporation, Vista got its first city council and mayor was appointed whose name was Joe Fotheringham. By the year 1963, Vista had turned into a city with a population of 19,000.

The Vista ranchos have a long history. Rancho Guajome was spread over an area of 7,000 sq feet. It is believed that this rancho had the only orange grove in the entire San Diego county. Other than that, Rancho Guajome also had a number of orchards and vineyards. Rancho Buena Vista was also popular and it was sold from one owner to another many times. Finally, Rancho Buena Vista was sold to Cave Couts. Together, Rancho Guajome and Rancho Buena Vista became a hub of social activities and entertainment, attracting ranchers from all around.

Couts went on to own a lot more land. Soon, it is said, Couts had around 20,000 acres of land in his possession. In the years that followed, the rancho went through long legal battles. At the end, the courts decided to deliver verdict in favor of Couts. In 1886, the Vista Land Company obtained a substantial area of land, and it was from then onwards that the city began to take shape.

Agua Hedionda Y los Monos is situated in Shadowridge and Carlsbad, which lies adjacent to Vista. The rancho has an area of 2,600 acres. Today, most part of this rancho has been used for housing projects whereas some of it remains in the possession of the University of California.