Leo Carrillo was an actor (on Broadway and TV), a political cartoonist, and a conservationist. While he was playing the lead role on a television series, Cisco Kid, in the 1950s, he created the ranch of his childhood dreams, spending weekends and free time in Carlsbad, CA. In 1937, Leo purchased an abandoned ranch with a deteriorating adobe and a well. He added more rustic adobes and structures to the plot of land, creating a 1,750 acre working ranch that other Hollywood stars wanted to come to visit. (The now shallow pool used to have a diving board and be 10 feet deep! I would want to visit too.)
In the 1980s, over twenty years after his death in 1961, the land was going to be turned into a community park but some volunteers got involved and started a non-profit, Friends of Carrillo Ranch, that developed a plan for the city of Carlsbad. This ended up saving what is now Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park. Only 27 acres of the ranch have not been bulldozed for tract housing, but at least history has been preserved. The park is free to visit. From adobes to native plants to peacocks, there is plenty to see. Currently there is a Día de los Muertos altar featuring Leo Carrillo, and a bunch of pretty decorations.
I love it here. There is something magical about this spot, like a time machine into the past, a time when hardly anyone had ever heard of Carlsbad, CA.