Tradition & Experience
Spanning over 144 acres, Bandy Canyon Ranch is nestled in the heart of San Pasqual Valley. Set deep in Bandy Canyon, this Southern California ranch is adorned with rustic cabins, a dramatic pool for lounging and entertaining and an authentic 1930’s adobe lodge with two kitchens, antique stoves, and multiple fireplaces. A charming terrace and wedding ceremony site are also available for wedding ceremonies, receptions, and special events.
Historic Roots since 1870
- 1870 — John D. Bandy, staked his homestead by filing for 80 acres of land in the mouth of the canyon, and perfected his claim on December 12th, 1882, at age of 29.
- 1875 — Bandy sold his homestead to William H. Thompson, from Nova Scotia. Thompson eventually developed the property into a 450 cow dairy and a 1,000 head cattle ranch.
- 1881 — Thompson had a cook, Emma Fenton, a widow from Iowa, who had three children. She was unable to care for them so was forced to put them in a San Francisco orphanage. Emma and her frail and ailing daughter, Laura, moved to San Pasqual, where she hired on as a cook and housekeeper on the W. F. Thompson ranch, which was then about 1,000 acres. When Thompson needed another ranch hand, at the urging of Emma, who assured Thompson her son could earn his keep, he sent to the San Francisco orphanage for Emma’s son, seven year old Henry Fenton.
- 1887 — The land boom went bust. And so did Thompson. The bank took back the property in foreclosure.
- July 4th 1890 — Largest party know to have been thrown at the property. Over 3000 attendees. A couple of ranchers contributed a cow/steer each for barbecue, others would contribute a couple of sheep for the grill, others would provide the vegetables and others produce, someone would play an accordion, or fiddle, and they would commence to have a good old fashioned party. Families would come from miles around and all would chip in, some cooking, some serving, and some just having a good time.
- 1900 — Shortly after 1900, Fenton had saved his money and, at age 28, he was able to purchase 1000 acres of land in the San Pasqual Valley at just $3 an acre.
- 1930’s — Mr. Fenton created a camp at the ranch for under-privileged boys to experience a summer camp.
- 1951 — Mr. Fenton passes away. The ranch was 4000 acres at the time.
- 1952 — Justine Fenton, at the age of 44, sold approximately 3,300 acres to the city of San Diego for $1 million. This deal secured valuable water rights in the San Pasqual Valley. Much of that acreage today contains the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
- 1970 — The 5500 Square Foot Lodge was remodeled and enclosed.
- 2001 — Justine Fenton passed away.
- 2011 — Bandy Canyon Ranch has undergone a multimillion dollar restoration to its original splendor.