Otay Ranch of Stephen Birch

Bird Ranch was built by Stephen Birch as quail barn on Otay Ranch ( photographed in 2009 by Steven Schoenherr )

See also the exhibit Otay Ranch History

1829 Otay Rancho was the property of Doña Magdalena Estudillo, whose brother, Don José Antonio, was grantee of the adjoining Janal Rancho. Though the early record is not clear, it is probable that the grant, either all or in part, was made by Governor Echeandía with that of the Janal in 1829. A later grant, or re-grant, was made by Governor Pío Pico in 1846. An Indian ranchería occupied the region from earliest historic times, and Lieutenant José Francisco Ortega reported that unconverted Indians from this place took part in the destruction of San Diego Mission in 1775. The grantee, Doña Magdalena, was claimant for the rancho before the land commission, and a patent was issued to her January 20, 1872. ( Brackett, 1960 )

1829 Janal Rancho, a former Indian ranchería, was a grant of 4,436 acres. Because both it and the adjoining Otay Rancho were granted to members of the Estudillo family, they are sometimes considered as one rancho. The land was granted in 1829 by Governor Echeandía to José Antonio Estudillo, whose father, José María Estudillo, was founder of the family in California. José Antonio was born at Monterey in 1805 and became prominent in the political affairs of his time. He was alcalde of San Diego in 1836-38 and the first county treasurer in 1850. In 1825 he married María Victoria, daughter of Sergeant Cristobal Dominguez, who was grantee of the extensive San Pedro Rancho in the Los Angeles district. José was grantee of a house-lot at Old Town in 1827 upon which he soon after built the historic Casa de Estudillo. He died in 1852, and the rancho was patented to his heirs. A large portion of the central and eastern area is now covered by the waters of the Upper and Lower Otay reservoirs. ( Brackett, 1960 )

Otay Rancho plat map of 1870 (San Diego History Center)

1870/11/22 "Plat of Rancho Otay Confirmed to Magdelena Estudillo Oct. 1858. 6657.98 Acres." and "Traced from original Map by N. Alricks, Jr." and "I certify that this is a correct tracing from the map of location of the San Diego & Gila Railroad, with reference to the Otay rancho, its topopgraphy & al. San Diego, Nov. 22nd 1870. Thomas S. Sedgwick, Chf. Eng." -- shows location of homes in Otay Valley of La Punta, Capt. Wilcox, English, Black, Bays, Early or Farley, Britton, Inman, Edson, Duncon, Henser, McHenry, Pollock, Walter Holland, Old Adobe in valley in sw corner. On the upper Otay Lakes, along the San Berdardino Meridian just east of Otay Rancho in the Janal Valley, the Gregory and Sherman homes on the Jamul Creek. Shows a north-south "Road to Mexico" along the bay past La Punta, an east-west "Road to Fort Yuma" out Telegraph Canyon, another east-west road (Main Street) from Capt. Wilcox out the Otay Valley to the Edson house (at Auto Park Place, just before Main Street curves to the south), then Main Street continues east to the Walker and Holland houses just west of the Otay Ranch boundary, road then crosses the boundary and continues east to the "old adobe" and continues east following the river. At the Walker and Holland houses, a north-south road goes south from Main Street along the Otay Ranch border "to Mexico" and this road east of the Walker and Holland houses splits off from Main Street and follows the southern edge of the valley past the Pollock and Henser houses, and turns north at the Duncan house to rejoin Main Street at Poggi Creek (Melrose St.) and then turn north near Hilltop and follow Hilltop-1st Street north into Chula Vista past the east side of the Country Club and across Hilltop Park at Telegraph Canyon to the Sweetwater River where it meets the Road to Fort Yuma from Telegraph Canyon. This may be the alternate stagecoach route that had a station at 50 F Street. (card 3152) Otay Plat, 1870/11/22 -- old adobe shown in southwest corner of Otay Rancho ( Otay Rancho plat map of 1870, San Diego Historical Society )

1872 - Stephen Birch was born March 24, 1872 in New York, New York, United States. He was president of Kennecott Copper Corp., 1915-33. He died December 29, 1940. ( "Stephen Birch." Almanac of Famous People, 2003. )

1900 - "The Estudillo family finally received a patent for their ranchos in 1872. After about fifteen years of problems with Rancho Otay, the Estudillo family gave the rights to Rancho Otay to the J. P. Morgan Bank interests of New York City. Later, the Otay Rancho reached the hands of John D. Spreckels, a Coronado financier and owner of the Hotel del Coronado. In early 1900, hunting lodges were built on three sites for the exclusive use of the Hotel del Coronado guests. The three sites were at lower Otay lake, Minnewawa and upper Otay lake which is Rancho del Otay. After John D. Spreckels lost a great deal of money he was forced to sell the now Otay Ranch. E. S. Babcock, builder of the Hotel del Coronado, Acquired the property. Babcock sold the property to Charles S. Judson and Rube Harrison bought the property from Judson in 1922. In 1936, Stephen Birch bought Otay Ranch from Rube Harrison. Mary Birch Patrick had a great love for nature, art and a passion for horses. Included at Rancho del Otay are horse stables which she had constructed for her prize Palominos. Mrs. Patrick has been praised highly for her creative sculptures. . . In November of 1983, Mary Patrick died of heart failure. United Enterprises bought Rancho del Otay and continue to own it. A public auction took place and antiques and furniture sold for 1.3 million dollars. This number doesn't show the true value of her antiques since a great amount of Mrs. Patricks' things were sent to another auction back east." ( "Rancho del Otay," mss, pp. 1-2, Otay Ranch Company files, 610 West Ash Street, San Diego, CA. )

1915 - In the summer of 1900, prospectors Clarence Warner and "Tarantula Jack" Smith were exploring the east edge of the Kennicott Glacier with this valuable information. As the pair drew closer to the limestone-greenstone contact, they could not miss the magnificent green cliffs of copper exposed on the mountainside. Their discovery, staked as the "Bonanza Mine Outcrop", was sampled revealing up to 70% pure chalcocite copper, a good measure of silver, and a trace of gold. Stephen Birch, an ambitious young mining engineer, eventually purchased this valuable, yet challengingly remote, claim. Securing the financial backing of some of the most influential families of the time, Birch formed the Alaska Syndicate. This group, which included the Morgans and Guggenheims, became the Kennecott Copper Corporation in 1915. Along with building the mine and mill works, this corporation controlled the entire transportation route, funding the 196-mile Copper River and Northwestern Railway from Kennecott to Cordova and organizing a steamship line that shipped the ore to the smelters in Tacoma, Washington. Note: The mining company was named after the Kennicott Glacier. However, it was misspelled as Kennecott, with an "e", resulting in spelling debates that continue today. Successfully meeting countless challenges posed by the extreme Alaska setting, this system of mining and transport engineering operated from 1911, when the railroad was completed to Kennecott, to 1938, when the high grade copper veins were depleted. The total value of the copper extracted was approximately $200 million. Capital generated from the operation went on to stimulate mining endeavors in other parts of the United States and South America. Kennecott Copper Corporation remains an important name in the international mining community today. More than just an industrial relic town, the mill holds stories of human community, past and present. At its peak, the Kennecott operation employed about 600 people: approximately 300 people in the mill camp, where the ore was processed, and 200-300 in the mines up the mountain. Operation and maintenance of the railway required an additional 300 people. During the mining era, Kennecott became a self-contained company town, complete with a hospital, general store, schoolhouse, ball field, skating rink, tennis court, recreation hall and dairy. Following the boom-bust pattern common to mining economies across the American west, Kennecott became a ghost town soon after the last train pulled out in November of 1938. ( Kennecott, http://www.nps.gov/wrst/historyculture/kennecott.htm )

1936 Otay Ranch, originally a land grant by Mexican Governor Echeandia to Maria Estudillo and her brother Jose Antonio Estudillo, was owned and operated by the Stephen Birch family from 1936 until the mid-1980s. The ranch was a large 21,000 acre cattle and agricultural operation east of San Diego. The ranch had a large number of employees, many from Mexico. The ranch was established during the end of the Depression and continued through World War II. By the 1980s, Mary Birch and the corporation that ran the ranch, United Enterprises, sold the ranch to develpers for housing development. The Otay Ranch collection depicts the history of San Diego county through the administrative, economic, financial, employment and agricultural documents that describe the operations of this large east county ranch. Also included is material relating to Birch family history, including copies of letters dating from the 1840s ( Otay Ranch Records. MSS 500. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD. )

1936 - The Otay Ranch was bought by Stephen Birch in 1936 and through additional purchases of adjoining lands, the ranch was expanded to approximately 29,000 acres. After Stephen Birch's death in the 1940s the expanded Otay Ranch became known as the Otay Agricultural Corporation, and then as United Enterprises, Inc. a family corporation, consisting of the heirs of Stephen Birch. Mary Birch Patrick, his daughter, and her husband Patrick R. Patrick, a former wing commander in the Royal Air Force resided at the Rancho del Otay, which was the original hunting lodge built by Babcock until the death of Mary in 1984. (Her husband had died some time before.) The hunting lodge property had originally been part of the Janal grant, but by this time was included in the Otay holdings. Many of the structures built by either the Otay Agricultural Corporation or United Enterprises, Inc. are still in use today (Berryman and Berryman 1987). By the 1950s the first major irrigation projects were in place on Otay and large-scale vegetable farming was possible although water supplies were stIli limited.. . . During this time the property expanded to approximately 29,000 acres and became known as the Otay Ranch. By the 1960s and 1970s the spread of local cities resulted in the selling out of some of the land by large shareholders to corporations. With the death of Mary Birch Patrick in 1984 the remaining 23,088-acres of the Otay Ranch were bought for development by the Baldwin Company, a real-estate speculation and development company. Baldwin says that there is to be a whole new city of 75,000 family units to be built there. In 1994, the Baldwin Company declared bankruptcy, and even though it appears that they have, at least partially recovered, it remains to be seen what effect this will have on the development of the parcel of land represented by Cal. F:5:1 CA (SDI-12,809). (McGowan, 1997. )

1936 - Dorace E. Scarbury was Otay Ranch foreman 1936-39. The ranch had 1500 acres in farm land and 60,000 [sic] acres in range land in 1936. Stephen Birch grew 1800 orchids in a hot house. The Bailey Ranch was nearby. ( Scarbery Otay Ranch Doc File, San Diego Historical Society. )

1936 - Bird Ranch -- A unique "round" ­ actually 12-sided ­ barn structure is located on the historic Bird Ranch in Otay Valley. The structure, besides its unusual configuration, has an intriguing history. Elisha S. Babcock bought the Otay and Janal ranches in the 1880s. Babcock, an avid sportsman, built a lodge nearby and spent a great deal of time on the property. The area abounded with small game and was particularly rich in quail. California hunters at that time had no quota limits, and the result, not surprisingly, was that game diminished. Babcock died in 1922, and the property passed on to Rube Harrison, a real estate dealer who sold the land to Stephen Birch in 1936. Birch was of "old family" from the East. He made a large fortune in mining from the Alaskan gold bonanza and invested in copper mines elsewhere. This fortune moved him into the same social set as J.P. Morgan and Simon Guggenheim. Birch acquired several additional tracts of land that eventually were joined into a huge, contiguous property of some 29,000 acres. An 11-acre portion of it was called Rancho Del Otay. Most of the property was farmed. The principal crops at first were lima beans, hay, grain and later barley, wheat and oat hay. Beef ranching of Hereford, Black Angus and Santa Gertrudis cattle helped the ranch turn a tidy profit. Besides the moneymaking ventures, Birch used parts of the property for his hobbies. Raising orchids was one of them, which he did in a greenhouse that housed 1,800 plants, cared for by a university-trained botanist. Birch also was a fan of bird hunting, and it was this interest that resulted in the construction of the unusually shaped barn. Game in San Diego County had been declining. Theories for this included the long drought; an increase in predators, including cats and dogs; and the greater accessibility into more distant regions for hunting parties who were now traveling in automobiles. Birch, with his vast wealth, spared no expense. He had learned that baby quail tended to crowd into corners. The chicks flock, instinctively piling on top of each other for warmth and company, and those on the bottom were smothered or injured. It may have been through the advice of the California Fish and Game, or the U.S. Department of Fish and Game, that Birch learned of the efficacy of building a specialized hatchery barn without sharp corners. The round structure protected the chicks from their piling activities. The plans for the building were made, and it was constructed in about 1936 or '37. After the construction of the hatchery barn and the installation of the water pipes made of copper from his mines, and with an unlimited supply of feed from his ranching activities, Stephen Birch, so to speak, was ready to roll. Instead, he came to an abrupt stop when it was discovered that he may have obtained his eggs, initial hatchlings, or funds from a state or federal agency for his bird-raising complex. At any rate, a lawsuit was brought against him, and the law was specific and final on this point: If services of this type of agency were used by an individual, the public was to be included in the benefits of the results. Birch lost the lawsuit. The 10,000-acre private hunting reserve he had envisioned for himself and his guests was no longer private. In other words, Birch had to allow people he did not know to hunt on his land. He refused. Birch died in 1940, soon after shutting down the bird operation. ( Walter, 2008. )

1936 - Three standing historic complexes have also been identified within the project area, and all appear to be potentially significant historic resources: Otay Ranch (CA-SDI-II,384H), Rancho del Otay (CA-SDi-II,419H), and Bird Ranch (CA-SDi-II,386H). Each consists of of ranch residences and other out-buildings, corrals, and structural foundations. Bird Ranch also has a unique 20-sided quail farm structure. ( Otay Ranch Draft Program Environmental Impact Report, 1991. )

1939 - "The Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation was established in 1939. Birch, who founded Kennecott Copper Corp. in the early 1900s, owned Rancho del Otay, now a suburban residential area east of Chula Vista, and spent part of the year there between the late 1920s and mid-1930s. The foundation gave $6 million in 1986 to build a new aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, the largest commitment in the foundation's history." ( Los Angeles Times, Oct 5, 1988, pg. 8. )

1954 - "If life was good for me on the main ranch, it got better within a few months when we were transferred five miles south to Otay Valley Farm. Today it is referred to as Bird Ranch ‹ where the 12-sided game-bird hatchery still exists and marks a potential active recreation site. Back then, the small complex was designed to keep track of the Herefords and Black Angus roaming the ranch. That charge was given to Dave Stewart, who wore glasses and a straw cowboy hat over his white hair. Some days he would ride out on his horse alone, toward Otay Lakes in search of stray cattle ‹ a task of immeasurable joy I believed. Then came that unforgettable evening, framed by fading sunlight, when the manly, metallic sound of his horse's hooves on gravel announced the return of Dave Stewart. The butt of a rifle protruded from a long leather holster behind his leg as he sat and smiled down at us kids. Back of the saddle was a passel of lifeless rattlesnakes. He dropped the headless vipers to the ground. God, that was a real cowboy! When I learned that Dave Stewart had worked as a cowhand on the gigantic King Ranch in Texas, that pedigree sent both me and his son, Davey, planning our own ranch one day. But even while I plotted, I felt the designs of my future beginning to run into those of my dad and his drinking, and a few months later we were living in another trailer on Third Avenue in lower Chula Vista." ( Shewman, Byron, "Otay Dreams," San Diego Reader, June 17, 2004. )

Bird Ranch photo published in the 1961 Chula Vista 50th anniversary booklet.
(from "Chula Vista 50 Years 1911-1961," Golden Anniversary booklet, Local history Room, Chula Vista Public Library )

1961 - John Helm and Jim Williams grew pole tomatoes on 70 acres on Otay Ranch 1961-1976. The 1960s were the "golden years of CV tomatoes." Helm had own label for wood boxes that held about 30 pounds when picked and put into poxes. Sold to South Bay Growers Coop (on Anita St). Otay Ranch Road went to the ranch house of Mary Birch. Mary Birch brought in water from the Otay Water District 1960, allowed tomato farming. Lima beans had been dry farmed until hurt by morningglory. The morningglory could be killed by 24D sprayed on the fields, but would alos kill the lima beans, so Otay Ranch switched to barley. Tomatoes required drainage ditches, field had to be surveyed fo proper drainage slope. Helm photo shows 150 acres in tomatoes, incl Kusaka next to williams fields. ( John Helm interview, July 10, 2010. )

1968 Mary Birch Patrick lived on the 35-acre Rancho del Otay across the street from the Otay Ranch. She sold 3100 acres to Al Gersten in 1968 for $5.29 million that was developed as Corcoran Ranch. She donated land to the CV Community Hospital complex. ( "McCandliss hopes for ranch preserve." Chula Vista Star News,1984. Cagle Otay Ranch Doc File, San Diego Historical Society. )

1971/12 - Arrangements were made in December 1971 with the Otay Ranch to allow an archaeological and anthropological excavation, under the leadership of instructor Charlotte McGowan. This project was located along the Otay River Valley and continued for several years. The "dig" was successful in recovering many artifacts from early Indian cultures. ( DeVore, 1993, p. 30. )

Native American Archaic site SDI-10452 is located in the Otay Valley near Bird Ranch and Rock Mountain and the SR-125 bridge. It was carbon dated by Charlotte McGowan to 7920 BP. ( McGowan, 1997. )

1983 - Mary Birch Patrick deeded 353 acres along Otay Valley Road to the Jaginco Corporation (name from Jack Daniels, gin, Coors beer) formed by Mary, Rose and Patrick Pateck and their attorney Alex Harper, to develop something with Walker Scott. This land was valued at $5.25 million. Mary Birch Patrick's will was filed in January 1984. She owned 49.6 % of United Enterprises stock and willed it to 31 beneficiaries of whom only 3 live in the San Diego area. Rose and Patrick Patek are directors of United, and Rose is co-executor of Mary's estate. The Pateks are involved in a legal dispute with California First Bank, the other co-executor, that wants to sell the United property. ( "McCandliss hopes for ranch preserve." Chula Vista Star News,1984. Cagle Otay Ranch Doc File, San Diego Historical Society. )

1983/11/20 - Mary Birch Patrick, 66, died Nov. 20, 1983. Her father Stephen Birch founded United Enterprises with his fortune made from Kennecott Copper that he founded after prospecting in Alaska. Mary married Patrick R. Patrick in 1955 who was a retired wing commander in the RAF. Mary was also a pilot. ( Chula Vista Star News, Nov. 27, 1983. Cagle Otay Ranch Doc File, San Diego Historical Society. )

1984 - Gayle McCandliss proposed to the Chula Vista City Council to preserve a "mini-Balboa Park" of 400-700 acres in the Otay Ranch property of the late Mary Birch Patrick. Balboa Park is 1074 acres. Mary owned 49.6 % of United Enterprises stock and willed it to 31 beneficiaries of whom only 3 live in the San Diego area. Rose and Patrick Patek are directors of United, and Rose is co-executor of Mary's estate. The Pateks are involved in a legal dispute with California First Bank, the other co-executor, that wants to sell the United property. John Spreckels purchased the Otay ranch in the early 1900s and with E. S. Babcock built a hunting lodge. Steven Birch bought the ranch from Spreckels. Mary Patrick lived on the 35-acre Rancho del Otay across the street from the Otay Ranch. She sold 3100 acres to Al Gersten in 1968 for $5.29 million that was developed as Corcoran Ranch. She donated land to the CV Community Hospital complex. In 1983 she deeded 353 acres along Otay Valley Road to the Jaginco Corporation (name from Jack Daniels, gin, Coors beer) formed by Mary, Rose and Patrick Pateck and their attorney Alex Harper, to develop something with Walker Scott. This land was valued at $5.25 million. ( "McCandliss hopes for ranch preserve." Chula Vista Star News,1984. Cagle Otay Ranch Doc File, San Diego Historical Society. )

1984/04/06 - Mrs. Patrick's sudden death last November of a heart attack at age 65 may provide San Diego with one of the most important antique and collectable events ever, according to Thompson, whose Park Boulevard company is handling the sale and auction with another company, Connoisseur Antiques. Her father, who collected most of the items being sold, was Steven Birch, the founder of Kennecott Copper Co. in 1915. Her mother was from a prominent and well-to-do Minneapolis family. For the past three months, Thompson has coordinated the appraisal of Mrs. Patrick's estate. The total value of the items that will be sold is nearly $700,000, he said. About $200,000 worth will be sold here next week. The rest was shipped to New York for a later sale. This past week 25 to 30 heirs from all around the world have been given the first opportunity to acquire whatever they like, at appraised prices. Then next Thursday through Sunday, a public sale will begin, according to Thompson. Security will be at a maximum and only four to five supervised buyers will be allowed into the Patrick lodge and adjacent buildings, east of Chula Vista, at any one time. If there is anything left over after that, he said, there could be an auction, although that has not yet been decided. Mrs. Patrick's attitude toward objects also included her home here. While she could have afforded any residence in San Diego, instead, when not traveling to New York, London or Argentina, she lived in a converted hunting lodge. Located east of Chula Vista on 5,000-acre Otay Ranch, the nine- room house was built around the turn of the century as a hunting lodge by John D. Spreckels. It is a modest abode by nearly any standard, certainly no better than the adjacent homes Spreckels and his associates built for themselves and that later were occupied by her servants and staff. Her father purchased the property, originally 20,000 acres, from Spreckels in 1936. This gave him a western estate to counterbalance the eastern estate in New Jersey. When her father died in 1940, her brother got the New Jersey property and Mrs. Patrick got Otay Ranch. Thompson said when her brother, Stephen Birch Jr., got tired of their father's antique furniture in New Jersey, he would have it trucked to Mrs. Patrick. Since her house was already full and she had no use for it, Mrs. Patrick often called out the servants when a truck arrived and gave the furniture and artifacts to them or their friends. When her brother, who never married, died in 1970, the New Jersey estate was sold. Thompson said 35 surrounding acres and the buildings, including the lodge, four servants' houses, one guest house and a fourplex, all perched between Upper and Lower Otay Lakes, will be sold at a later date. The remainder of the 5,000-acre ranch is held through her father's foundation and will not be sold. Although she was involved locally with the Old Globe Theatre, Mrs. Patrick was generally regarded here as something of a character, even a recluse. According to Thompson, however, Mrs. Patrick was not reclusive. She just had a highly developed sense of privacy. With a wide circle of friends, he said, she could throw a party with the best. A couple of years ago, he said, she tossed a Hawaiian bash at the Chula Vista property. To create the proper atmosphere, he said, she covered the entire floor of the house with 8 inches of sand and planted palm trees. An original part of that shipment was a 284-piece silver set that Thompson said has been sent back here because one of the heirs has expressed an interest in purchasing it for $12,500. Also included in that shipment was a necklace, Thompson said. With 334 diamonds, it was valued at $1000,000. ( The San Diego Union-Tribune, Apr. 6, 1984. )

1985/10/16 - The board of directors of Community Hospital of Chula Vista has selected "Birch-Patrick" as the name for a 98-bed convalescent home scheduled to open in November. Birch-Patrick was chosen in recognition of the generosity of the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation, Inc. and in memory of the late Mary Birch Patrick. Mary Birch Patrick served on the hospital board from 1975 to 1980 and was a trustee of the foundation which was founded by her father. The non-profit, private foundation is based in Dover, Del. and has been a major contributor to the hospital. The 37,000-square-foot convalescent center will be located at 751 Medical Center Court, adjacent to the Community Hospital. (The San Diego Union-Tribune, October 16, 1985. )

1988/11 - "Otay Ranch consists of three large parcels surrounding the Otay Lakes. The Otay Valley parcel is the largest parcel of Otay Ranch, comprising 9,449 acres and is designated by the General Development Plan/Subregional Plan (GDP/SRP) for the most intensive development, including a new regional urban center. . . The Chula Vista General Plan identifies the Otay River Valley and Salt Creek, a north/south feature at the eastern edge of this parcel, as segments of the city-wide greenbelt which will surround the City. Several other natural landforms are situated within the parcel: Wold Canyon, Poggi Canyon, johnson Canyon, O'Neal Canyon and Rock Mountain. Lower Otay Lake is located to the east of Salt Creek. The Proctor Valley Parcel is comprised of 5,555 acres located in the northeaster portion of the Ranch, between the Jamul Mountain and Mother Miguel Mountain. The country town of Jamul is east of the Proctor Valley parcel. . . The San Ysidro Mountains Parcel is the southeastern portion of the Ranch and includes 7,895 acres along the fringes of the San Ysidro Mountains and Otay Montain." land patents were confirmed Jan. 21, 1872. Janal Rancho called Otay Domingues and original Otay Ranch called Otay Estudillo, each with own cattle brand. First American owner was Solon S. Sanborn who purchased it on July 1, 1872. Captain Matthew Sherman bought a half interest in the property the same year. In 1883, owned by Land and Town Co. In 1900 Land and Town filed a subdivision map on part of the property. By Spreckels around 1900, who sold them to Babcock who organized Otay Water Co. that built the dam 1897. later called Southern California Mountain Water Co. sold to Spreckels 1906, later city of San Diego acquired both reservoirs. Babcock died 1922. In 1923 real estate dealer Rube Harrison bought the ranch. In 1937 was involved in law suits by Henry J. Adams. Harrison sold the ranch to Birch 1936 who enlarged the original Rancho of 6658 acres to nearly 29,000 acres. The family lived on the 11-acre Rancho del Otay. The ranch was called the Otay Agricultural Corporation. The name was later changed to United Enterprises. Lima bean farming abandoned in 1949 due to the bindweed morning glory infestation, Stephen Birch hobby was raising orchids, built a greenhouse, established a bird hatchery. The Bird Ranch was an outgrowth of the game bird hatchery. Birch built the 24-sided building used to raise quail and pheasants that were released on the ranch for hunting. Dorace Edgar Scarbery supervised the ranch 1938-40, made it profitable, imroved breeding with Polled Hereford bulls, levelled 1000 acres to grow barley and oats and alfalfa, developed a new hybrid lima bean. The ranch was sold to the Baldwin Co. by United Enterprises in Nov. 1988. ( "Otay Ranch Background," mss, pp. 1-6, Otay Ranch Company files, 610 West Ash Street, San Diego, CA. )

1988/12/21 - A crisp autumn day. A soft breeze blowing over a vast expanse of rolling hills blanketed with the stubble of harvested barley. Cattle dragging their feet in the distance. A hawk spiraling earthward. And, except for a horse's whinny or the whistling wind or the whirring of harvesters, it is quiet. This is Otay Ranch. Twenty thousand acres big, stretching almost as far as the eye can see. Home to cattle, horses, hawks and field mice. Home to cowboys and ranch hands. It is California before surfing and suntans. The California you find in a John Steinbeck story. For 50 years, the family of Stephen Birch Sr. farmed Otay Ranch, growing barley and lima beans and wheat. They grew whatever the market demanded, for anything could take root in the rich soil. Mary Birch Patrick stabled horses there, and her brother, Stephen Jr., raised game birds. Today, none of the Birches, a clan that sprouted from a wealthy New Jersey industrialist, is alive. Mary, the last surviving Birch, a woman whose deep love of Otay Ranch has become part of local legend, died five years ago. The ranch has been quiet ever since. Barley still grows on the rolling hills, and grain is harvested every autumn. But the yield has declined every year, and the hired hands are preparing for the day when they harvest the last blade of barley, pack their plows and saddles, and move on. That day of reckoning is approaching. Last month, in the largest San Diego County land deal in this century, United Enterprises, a limited partnership founded by Patrick, sold the 20,000-acre ranch. The Baldwin Co., an Irvine developer, bought it for $180 million. And now Baldwin, not surprisingly, is poised to replace the whir of harvesters with the roar of bulldozers. Baldwin plans to build on Otay Ranch the county's largest residential and business community. Greg Smith, president of Baldwin's San Diego division, boasts that the development will comprise a "whole new city. "It will," he says, "have the full range -- a civic auditorium, libraries, a university, regional shopping centers, a downtown. All the uses one acquaints with a city, all the office buildings, industrial parks and car centers. "It will be the most ambitious development the San Diego metropolitan area has ever seen. It will be quite a dream." Spanning nearly 30 square miles, Otay Ranch surrounds the beautiful Otay Lakes east of Chula Vista. It stretches from Interstate 805 to as far east as state Route 94 and as far south as the rim of Otay Mesa. While most of the property is rolling hills, it also includes the verdant Otay River Valley and the rugged slopes of the Jamul Mountains. The property encompasses parts of two Mexican land grants, the Janal and Otay ranchos given to brother and sister Don Jose Antonio and Dona Magdalena Estudillo in 1829. It is so massive, so sprawling, that it covers a geographical area larger than Point Loma, Mission Bay and La Jolla combined. The "city" itself is expected to be three times the size of Rancho Bernardo. When completed -- a process that could take 20 years and cost billions of dollars -- the Otay Ranch development could have as many as 60,000 homes and 150,000 people, Smith said. The new town could become part of neighboring Chula Vista or San Diego, or it could be incorporated into a city itself. A decision is years away. If it does become a separate city, it would be the second- largest municipality in the county -- bigger than Chula Vista. But Otay Ranch is more than a place of family memories or natural splendor. More than anything, the story of Otay Ranch is the story of Mary Birch Patrick. Every recollection, every memory about the ranch comes back to Patrick, who infused the ranch and its people with a rugged frontier spirit during her three decades there. People who knew her agree that her death in 1983 marked the beginning of Otay Ranch's slow decline and eventual sale to Baldwin. Born in New York City in 1917, Birch (her maiden name) first came to Otay Ranch in her late teens, shortly after her father, Stephen Birch Sr., bought it in 1936 from San Diego entrepreneur John D. Spreckels. The family settled on a part of the ranch known as Rancho del Otay. Spreckels, who bought the land from the Estudillo family, built Rancho del Otay on a mesa overlooking the Otay Lakes. Rancho del Otay, which still stands, includes a modest Spanish-style home, stables and several small hunting lodges. Spreckels and E.S. Babcock, builder of the Hotel del Coronado, built the lodges for the use of hotel guests, who hunted in the dense chaparral of Otay Ranch before it was cleared for farming. In 1940, Birch inherited her father's entire estate in the Western United States -- the ranch, the family farming business and Rancho del Otay. But she spent most of the 1940s on the East Coast, where she did volunteer work and became well known as a sculptor, or in Italy, where she attended art school. After traveling the world -- including crossing through the Andes and South America in a car -- Birch returned to California. In 1955, at the age of 38, she married Patrick R. Patrick, a retired commander in the Royal Air Force. She and The Commander, as he was known, settled on Rancho del Otay, beginning what would be, at times, an eccentric country lifestyle. Her friends say Patrick was a tough, coarse woman full of contradictions. Her spunky demeanor contrasted somewhat with that of her husband, who spoke with a proper English accent. Though born in wealth to a socially prominent family and worth many millions, she avoided the typical upper-class refinement. She was known as much for her off-color jokes as for her kind heart. A sign outside her swimming pool summed up her crass sense of humor: "Swim now, pee later." Her husband died in 1971, and she spent her last decade mourning his death, Joyce Loula said. "She was very much in love with her husband. It appeared to be a perfect match. They meant everything to each other." When she died at age 66 on Nov. 20, 1983, her will bequeathed her entire estate and her shares in United Enterprises to 30 beneficiaries, including five longtime ranch employees. During her lifetime, the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation, a philanthropic organization, also gave substantial gifts to the San Diego Zoo, Old Globe Theatre, San Diego Public Library and several local hospitals. A few months after her death, all her personal belongings -- including valuable art and odd artifacts described by art dealers as "junk" -- were sold in an estate sale open to the public. Hundreds converged at the ranch. Among the hundreds of items sold were her Jaguar, antique furniture found in a doghouse, a nude female statue mounted on a velvet backing priced at 50 cents, the $15,000 Persian rug and stacks of Daily Racing Forms dating back to the 1920s. The sale netted more than $200,000. The sale of the land to The Baldwin Co. three weeks ago completed the liquidation of Patrick's estate. Five years after her death, it finally severed her connection to Otay Ranch and the land she loved. No one knows what Patrick would have thought about turning her beloved Otay Ranch into a conglomeration of stores, suburban homes and swimming pools, although The Baldwin Co. claims it is fulfilling her dream. "This was part of Mary Birch's vision," Smith said. "As I understand it, she envisioned a city out there, and United Enterprises has been actively working to see that come to fruition. She'd be pleased to see us doing this." Those who knew Patrick, however, say she never discussed the future of Otay Ranch or mentioned any "vision." "That's something I've never heard," said Joyce Loula, who grew up on Otay Ranch and whose father was Patrick's bookkeeper. "That's a total surprise to me. I just don't think she would have wanted it developed. She loved the quiet of the place and the rolling hills too much." But Loula's mother, Lula Mae, who knew Patrick for nearly 50 years, said Patrick "realized that things change and that nothing stays the same. She told me once, `You can't stop progress. One must go on.' " Baldwin's plans have saddened the people who lived and worked on Otay Ranch. For them, Otay Ranch is a place of unparalleled natural beauty. "One of the most gorgeous sights was in the fall," remembered Viola Shutte, 62, whose husband was the farm manager for 20 years. "As the barley would ripen, it would turn a beautiful golden color. And a nice breeze would make the barley go to and fro just like waves. It was a remarkable sight." For the old-timers who lived there, Otay Ranch also was the place they worked, married and raised their children. "There are a lot of memories here," says Virginia Cagle, whose late husband was a farmhand and who has lived on the ranch for 38 years. "I raised my two daughters here. My husband died here." She was generous to friends and employees and avoided luxury. She often stored or simply gave away antique furniture -- some of it more than 300 years old -- that had been bequeathed to her, preferring instead newer, cheaper furnishings. She did keep one ornate Louis XIII chair from the 17th century -- and had it reupholstered in cowhide. Other valuables were given shabby treatment. For years, a small bedside rug lay on the concrete floor in a guest cottage. After her death, it was discovered to have been a rare Persian rug appraised at $15,000. When she moved into the rustic surroundings of Rancho del Otay, she tore down the lace curtains her father had put in the house. Patrick, an avid collector of palomino horses, put up curtains featuring prints of horses instead. She also pitched her own hay. And every day, whether she was walking through the stables or taking in company, she wore the same outfit: old sweatshirt, jeans and tennis shoes. "She wasn't afraid of hard work," Larry Enoch, a handyman who worked for the Birch family, told a newspaper after her death. She often went hunting alone in the wilds of the East County, carrying only her rifle and ammunition. She enjoyed skeet shooting, and for years operated a shooting range on the ranch. She also continued her sculpture, although not once in her life did she try to sell any of her work. She did permit herself a few luxuries; one of them was her prized 1950 Jaguar sports coupe. Patrick loved to drive the car across the gravel and dirt roads that crisscross Otay Ranch. One of her favorite pastimes, her friends say, was running over rattlesnakes in the road. "For hours, she'd drive around and look for snakes," Joyce Loula said. "She said there was a trick to running them over. The trick was to not go too fast. She said if you went too fast, they would roll around the wheel well, sometimes still alive. "One time, she said, a snake flipped onto the car and rolled into the seat right next to her. I don't know if that's a true story, but I accepted everything she told me as gospel. She was a pretty honest woman, but full of contradictions." She was well known for throwing lavish parties. Once she wanted to throw a Hawaiian-style beach party, but didn't want to go to the beach. Instead, her friends say, she threw the party at home and, to create the proper atmosphere, covered the entire floor with 8 inches of sand and planted palm trees. ( The San Diego Union-Tribune, Dec. 21, 1988. )

1997/02/03 - Otay Ranch -- Huge Baldwin empire facing foreclosure sale. James and Alfred Baldwin, who purchased the sprawling Otay Ranch eight years ago in the largest real estate transaction in county history, face possible foreclosure after defaulting on $175 million in loans. At stake are thousands of acres, including a large portion of Otay Ranch, as well as Baldwin holdings in Carmel Valley and Ventura County. The Baldwin brothers, who lost their home building company in a bankruptcy filing in 1995, now have less than three months in which to repay their debt. If they don't, they will risk losing much of their land to a foreclosure sale that could potentially bring down the once formidable Baldwin development empire. Their hand was forced when the former owners of the 23,000-acre Otay Ranch east of Chula Vista filed default notices last month on loans covering vast swaths of undeveloped land, much of which is in Otay Ranch. Whether this latest round of financial problems will delay development of the Otay Ranch project remains unclear. The loan defaults are just the latest setback in the continuing financial saga of the Baldwin brothers, at one time among the most active homebuilders in Southern California and one of the principal developers of Carmel Valley east of Del Mar. Their home-building company, Baldwin Builders, was forced into bankruptcy in July 1995 following a prolonged real estate recession and an unwillingness by their lender to continue funding their company. The Otay Ranch land, however, was unaffected because Village Development was excluded from the bankruptcy filing. It appears there was no single event that precipitated the filing of the default notices, just a growing frustration among the sellers of the Otay Ranch land that they were not getting paid what was owed them, according to sources close to the dispute. The notices were filed by United Enterprises, a limited partnership that sold the Otay property to the Orange County-based Baldwin brothers in 1988 for an estimated $150 million. The partnership includes the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation and the estate of Mary Birch Patrick, a philanthropist who had owned the land for more than 40 years. She died in 1983. Beneficiaries of the Patrick estate are becoming increasingly impatient at their failure to receive all of their inheritance, which has been tied up in the Baldwins' financial troubles. Because payments had not been made for quite some time, the default filing appeared to be the only option left to the sellers of the land, sources said. Some of the payments on the loans, which were secured by deeds of trust encumbering Otay Ranch and Carmel Valley land as well as Lang Ranch in Ventura County, were overdue as far back as November 1993, while others became delinquent as recently as Dec. 31, according to documents filed with the San Diego County Recorder. People familiar with the sale of Otay Ranch estimate that the Baldwin entities have paid the foundation and the Patrick estate a range of $60 million to $80 million, far short of the sale price. ( The San Diego Union-Tribune, Feb.3, 1997 )

1997/03/16 - Mary Birch Patrick millionaire heiress -- Her world was regal and large. As a little girl she bounced on the knees of financier J.P. Morgan, a friend of her copper magnate father, Stephen Birch Sr. As an adult, she flew her own plane and once drove a roadster over the Andes Mountains in Argentina. After inheriting the ranch, she also dreamed of continuing the philanthropic work of her father, of giving millions through the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation, which she directed after her father's death. Yet her world also was rugged and small. She often hunted alone on the outskirts of her 23,000 acres near the Mexican border, purposefully running over rattlesnakes with her 1950 Jaguar sports coupe. When people were too much, she stayed inside and sculpted. Or took some gin. But now, more than 13 years after her death, that legacy has yet to be realized. Patrick's estate remains mired in complex litigation, having become the longest-running Probate Court case in San Diego history. Her 30 beneficiaries, who live in far-flung places from South America to Scotland, have yet to receive all their inheritances, potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Several have died waiting. For years, the foundation was highly visible in San Diego, providing funding that helped to establish the Stephen Birch Aquarium-Museum and Sharp HealthCare's Mary Birch Hospital for Women in the early 1990s. Since then, however, the foundation has all but disappeared, its tens of millions of dollars untallied because its trustees have failed to file the required financial disclosure forms with the Internal Revenue Service since 1993. In the meantime, a former partner of the trustees has filed a lawsuit seeking to dissolve the organization. And Mary Birch Patrick's plan to create a thriving new community of 70,000 people on her 23,000 acres east of Chula Vista has stalled because of the financial problems of its developers, Jim and Al Baldwin of Newport Beach. Recently, the estate and the foundation -- which held the majority interest in the development company that sold 19,600 acres - - began the process of having the Baldwins declared in default, moving the massive parcel a step closer to a foreclosure sale. That sale could be good news to the beneficiaries of the estate, who say they have grown tired of waiting for the money Patrick's will said was theirs. The beneficiaries recently filed papers in the county's Probate Court, asking the court to order an accounting of the estate's holdings and opposing millions of dollars in fees sought by the co- executors, according to people familiar with the case. Those papers have yet to be made public by the court. Rose and Patrick Patek, the former ranch helpers who Mary Patrick picked to run her empire, were not beneficiaries of her estate. Rose Patek is its co-executor, both Pateks are running the foundation, and they made millions of dollars through their work on the land sale, according to court records. The Pateks, in their 50s, are living an improbable rags-to- riches American dream against a backdrop of uncertainty. Spanning 30 square miles, three times the size of Rancho Bernardo, the Otay Ranch where Patrick spent the last decades of her life surrounds Otay Lakes east of Chula Vista. It stretches from Interstate 805 to as far east as state Route 94, and as far south as the rim of Otay Mesa. While most of the property is rolling hills, it also includes the verdant Otay River Valley and the slopes of the Jamul Mountains. In 1938, Stephen Birch, an engineer in a suburb of New York City who earned a fortune running the Kennecott Copper Co., bought the 35,000 acres and a private residence known as Rancho del Otay, located south of Upper Otay Lakes, as a resort. He died two years later, leaving his $200 million fortune and the land holdings to his daughter, Mary, and son, Stephen Jr. Mary Birch, then 23, inherited the California residence and her brother, a reclusive artist, the family estate in Mahwah, N.J. In the early 1950s, she married a former Royal Air Force commander, Patrick R. Patrick, and they moved to a hunting lodge on the ranch built by wealthy San Diegan John Spreckels. On the 35 acres they called home, they planted beans and grain, raised cattle, and threw lavish parties for her theater friends. "Mary was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, but she didn't show she was immensely rich," said Arthur, the La Jolla beneficiary. Yet she took for granted the gas station and airstrip on the Otay Ranch, seeing them as necessities of sorts. Patrick was a giving woman, who occasionally surprised friends with Christmas gifts of palomino ponies on their doorsteps. She was fun-loving, once shocking friends by draping a bra over the antlers of a deer trophy in her parlor. Her physical image, too, was one of sharp contrasts. The blond, blue-eyed woman moved with grace. Yet her voice deepened as she smoked one Chesterfield after another from a silver-tipped cigarette holder. Patrick's husband and her brother died the same year, in 1970. She drew into herself, relying more and more on longtime friend Robert Newell to handle the number-crunching matters involving the ranch. "He'd worry about every nickel, the paper clips," William Dator, another longtime friend, said of Newell. Other details absorbed her interest: "If a cow was having trouble in a pregnancy, she'd stick her hand up it and pull the calf out," said Dator, of Mahwah, N.J. "That's the kind of thing she was concerned about." Within eight months of Mary Patrick's death, in June 1984, officials with Southern California First National wanted to get the bank out of its relationship with Rose Patek as co-executors of the estate. They challenged her in court, contending in legal filings that she had jeopardized tens of millions of dollars because she was moving too slowly to sell the land, and had a conflict of interest because she was a stockholder and an officer of United Enterprises as well as a trustee of the foundation. In 1984, a beneficiary in Minnesota wrote to a San Diego probate judge, saying she thought the bank's petition had merit, and that she was uneasy "because of the many hats worn by Rose." After a judge upheld Rose Patek's position as co-executor of the estate, she teamed with a friendlier ally as co-executor, City National Bank. Bank officials have declined to comment. The beneficiaries' concerns increased through the 1980s, as the foundation under the Pateks' leadership began to take over more of the estate's assets. That essentially reduced the amount the beneficiaries were to receive, according to court records and interviews with people involved in the case. Mary Birch Patrick was unsure of when and if the Otay Ranch would be developed, but she told friends she believed that her father had "great vision for the property." The Pateks said they shared this grand vision for the land. Soon after Patrick's death in 1983, builders and developers began courting the Pateks, with their eye on one of San Diego County's largest real estate prizes: the 23,000-acre Otay Ranch. By 1988, several of Rose Patek's friends convinced her that the Baldwin brothers of Newport Beach were the developers with whom she should do business. After the Otay Ranch sale, the Pateks celebrated with a $2,000 dinner for about a dozen people at the Hotel del Coronado's Windsor Room. The Otay Ranch sale proved to be a boon for the Pateks. They earned about $9 million through sales of United Enterprises stock, according to court records and people familiar with the case. In 1991, the Pateks bought a nearly $2 million homestead on 455 acres in a rural area of sprawling Montgomery County, Texas, about 70 miles northeast of Houston. These days, the low-key Pateks maintain a condominium in the San Diego area and travel frequently between California and Texas, according to friends. They maintain a close circle of acquaintances, are suspicious of strangers and keep mostly to themselves. Probate Court Judge Mitchell was recently appointed to oversee the case, which began in 1983. He said he has only begun to explore the complexity of issues involved and suggested that he wants to move quickly to resolve the lengthy litigation that has virtually paralyzed the case. Helen Carter was typical of the beneficiaries, a devoted worker who spent decades of her life serving the Birch and Patrick families. While Stephen Birch Sr. was alive, she managed a duck- hunting lodge that Birch and J.P. Morgan owned. Mary Patrick promised to pay her medical and life insurance throughout her life. The payments stopped when Carter reached 87 -- several years before she died in 1991. In 1993, the most recent distributions were made to the beneficiaries, ranging from $48,000 to $228,000 each. ( The San Diego Union-Tribune, Mar. 16, 1997. )

1997/03/16 - OTAY RANCH CHRONOLOGY 1936 - New Jersey engineer Stephen Birch, who earned a $200 million fortune running the Kennecott Copper Co., buys the huge Rancho del Otay as a resort. 1938 - Birch creates the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation, named after his two children. 1940 - Birch dies, leaving his holdings to his daughter, Mary, and son, Stephen Jr. Mary Birch settles in California while her brother stays in New Jersey. She marries a former Royal Air Force commander, Patrick R. Patrick, and becomes a well-known socialite and philanthropist in San Diego County. 1983 - Mary Birch Patrick dies at her ranch, beginning a lengthy Probate Court case. She leaves her fortune to several dozen beneficiaries scattered throughout the world. 1984 - Rose Patek, a former aide to Mary Birch Patrick, is named co- executor of her estate. She and her husband Patrick Patek, are trustees of the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation. 1988 - Mary Patrick's former development company, United Enterprises, the foundation, and the estate -- owners of the massive Otay Ranch estate -- sell the property to the Baldwin companies of Newport Beach for $150 million. 1995 - The Baldwins file bankruptcy, owing millions for the property. The beneficiaries wait for their payments while the philanthropic foundation becomes virtually inactive. 1997 - Default notices are filed against the Baldwins, the first step toward a possible foreclosure on the property. The beneficiaries ask the Probate Court for an accounting of the Mary Birch Patrick estate's finances. ( The San Diego Union-Tribune, Mar. 16, 1997. )

1998/10/17 - A developer already involved in two high-profile San Diego County projects has paid $19.5 million for 4,793 acres on Otay Ranch near Chula Vista, ensuring continued development of that massive project, according to sources and court records. A San Diego judge this week approved the sale, which also marks the beginning of the end of a 15-year probate case involving the estate of philanthropist Mary Birch Patrick. The 4,793 acres -- spread among several tracts on the 23,000- acre Otay Ranch -- were purchased from the Patrick estate by a developer identified as Otay Land Co. Sources said Otay Land Co. is associated with Leucadia National Corp., a New York-based development company that owns insurance companies, banks, factories and real estate, including the luxury Harbor Club condominium towers in downtown San Diego and the planned San Elijo Ranch housing development in San Marcos. Otay Land's president was identified in court records as Paul Borden. In Leucadia National Corp.'s public filings, Borden is listed as a vice president and key shareholder. Yesterday, Leucadia National officials declined comment and Borden could not be reached. The acreage was the last remaining tract owned by the estate of Mary Birch Patrick, who died in 1983. After Mitchell approved the sale, representatives of Patrick's heirs appeared ecstatic. About 35 beneficiaries -- scattered around the world -- have waited years for their full inheritances during the longest probate case in county history. Five years after Patrick's death, her executors sold Otay Ranch to developers Alfred and James Baldwin of Newport Beach. After the Baldwins sustained a series of financial setbacks, some of the property, including the 4,793 acres sold this week, was foreclosed on last year. A year ago, the Patrick heirs fought a move by executors of the estate to sell the property for $10 million, saying in court papers they would have been drastically shortchanged by the sale. Judge Mitchell agreed with the heirs, and halted the proposed sale to the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation, a major donor to local charities in the past. Mitchell cited the appearance of an "insider deal" and said he was troubled that the Patrick estate accepted a $10.5 million offer from the foundation, despite a higher bid of $12 million that was submitted. ( The San Diego Union-Tribune, Oct 17, 1998. )

1998/11/30 - After years of haggling over the multimillion-dollar Mary Birch Patrick estate, the longest probate case in San Diego County history is expected to end next month. But first, the parties must resolve their differences over legal fees and administrative costs, which Patrick's heirs say are "patently excessive." Patrick, one of the county's leading philanthropists, owned the 23,000-acre Otay Ranch near Chula Vista for decades. She died in 1983 and the property was sold five years later. Dozens of her heirs, scattered around the world, have waited for their full inheritances -- valued at more than $47 million -- for at least 15 years. The heirs recently filed papers in Probate Court opposing payment of fees to the estate's executors and to the executors' lawyers, saying years and millions of dollars were wasted by not closing the estate. In a recent order, Superior Court Judge Thomas R. Mitchell agreed with several of the heirs' concerns. He denied the amount of fees requested by Rose Patek, an executor of the estate along with a bank, who sought more than $440,000. The fees sought by Patek were for a 18-month period ended in July. The judge allowed $100,000. Already, Patek and her husband, Pat, have each received at least $8 million because of various roles they have performed since Patrick's death, according to Mitchell. Patek earned $580,000 as executor. Rose Patek was a trustee of the Stephen and Mary Birch Foundation that was once a top charitable institution in the region. Its gifts of more than $6 million helped build the UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Birch Aquarium-Museum, and its $5 million gift was responsible for construction of the Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women in Kearny Mesa. While running United Enterprises, Rose Patek was paid more than $6.9 million -- about $460,000 per year for 15 years. Patek and her husband also received tens of thousands of dollars each year directly from the foundation at a time when it stopped making new donations to the community. ( The San Diego Union-Tribune, Nov. 30, 1998. )

Otay Ranch from the USGS quad maps of 1955 Otay Mesa and 1953 Imperial Beach.

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