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Lemon Crest Ranch 1901

Lemon Crest Ranch c.1901

Built in 1886 by Mr. Klein, Lemon Crest Ranch house has grown older gracefully and is as lovely today as it was when built. The 50 acres which Mr. Klein bought were cleared of sage brush and cactus, and terraced for the 50 acres of lemon orchard which was planted about that same time. Approximately 10 acres surrounding the house were reserved for the family gardens and were landscaped by Kate Sessions, who at that time was a promising young landscape architect. Irving Gill designed the house.

The Klein family named their place "La Colina," meaning 'The Hill', and lived there until 1918 when it was sold to Mrs. Verring. To the estate she added the large barn, a house of her foreman, and the building identified as the wash house.

Inn from Kline Ranch (Post Card) 1905

Lakeside & Inn from Klein home (postcard) c.1905

In June, 1927, Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert from Imperial Valley assumed the property and cared for it for six months at which time it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lindsay. The Lindsay's were then living in Pomona and for business reasons could not move to La Colina, so arrangements were made with Mrs. Lindsay's brother, E. H. Foster and family, to care for the property.

In February, 1929, the Lindsay family moved to Lakeside and shortly thereafter, at the suggestion of George Lindsay, the ranch was re-named “Lemon Crest.”

The Lindsays had all the buildings repainted and re-roofed, and in the big house, hardwood floors were laid throughout, and the kitchen modernized.

Alice Lindsay

Mrs. Alice Lindsay c.unknown

The orchard required constant irrigation which placed a tremendous strain on the available water supply. Mr. Lindsay bought from Mr. Mansure the well which had belonged to the Lakeside Inn, and a right-of-way across a neighboring field was also obtained, which supplied ample water for the ranch.

In 1939, Mr. and Mrs. Lindsay sold half of the property, without any buildings, to Mr. Lindsay's mother, Mrs. Annie Mitchell. She later gave title of this section to her son Allen G. Mitchell, who worked that section of the orchard for several years. During the winter months, to protect the trees from freezing weather, smudge pots were lit, and the entire hill seemed to be on fire.

George returned to Lakeside in 1945, after serving overseas with the Army Air Force. He restored Lemon Crest to its original size by buying back Mr. Mitchell's portion. He built a redwood house on the north edge of the ranch, as well as a swimming pool. This place was occupied by Bob Sloan, who worked on the ranch, with his two sons, Charles and John.


McClain's Lemon Crest home c.1950s

The south 20 acres of the property were subdivided in 1948 and sold off in not less than acre plots. Charles Lindsay died in 1946. In 1950, the remaining portion of the ranch was sold to Homer Whited of San Diego, who did not live in the house. Early in 1951 he sold to Arthur Curtis, a hotel man of San Diego .

Another Lindsay son, Les, and his wife, Martha, and three children, Jean, Janet and Jack, were also residents of Lakeside for several years. They purchased the 20 acre Bill Sinclair Ranch in Lakeside Heights in 1946. Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lindsay's daughter, Mrs. Flemming, resided in Riverside .

Mr. and Mrs. George McClain bought the property and moved into the house in October of 1952. George died in 1984.


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