RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society held its annual meeting Feb. 18 at the La Flecha House.
John Vreeburg, president of the society since 2009, presided over the meeting. It kicked off with the renomination of the 2019-2020 board members for 2020-2021, which passed.
Vreeburg then presented a slideshow to the approximately 20 attendees, detailing the society’s accomplishments from last year and the state of its finances.
The listed 2019 accomplishments were as follows: 72 third-graders visited the La Flecha House on field trips; the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club partnered with society for the 2019 Garden and Luxury home tour; the society launched Robert Lindland’s book “An RSF Sketchbook. An Artist’s View of Life in the Ranch” at the Rancho Santa Fe Library (Lindland himself attended the night’s meeting); the society hosted the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary “Angel Tree” Christmas party at the La Flecha House; and it participated in the RSF Rotary First Street Fair.
After the accomplishments were presented, finances were discussed. The society — which is a 501c3 nonprofit — gains money through membership dues, donations, walking tours and book sales, amongst other methods. It reported a gross profit of $43,379.
It was also reported that over the past five years, the society has seen a decline in membership from 224 people to 141, but an increase in lifetime members from 47 to 65.
Other society members present were Vice President Peggy Brooks, board member Max Wuthrich and Administrator Sharon Alix, who gave this reporter a tour of the house and its artifacts after the meeting. La Flecha house is a refurbished Spanish-themed home that was designed by Lilian J. Rice in 1922. The house was originally designated as a potential residence of Santa Fe Land Improvement Company employees and was the first in Rancho Santa Fe to have been completely wired for electricity.
One of the society’s objectives has been the continued maintenance of the house, as part of its mission statement to “preserve the history of Rancho Santa Fe in order to connect us to our Past, Present and Future.” All three buildings that make up the house were recently reroofed. The house itself is a valuable trove; some of the items stored in it include antique buttons, art pieces from 18th-century Dusseldorf, cast-iron toys, Navajo dolls, antique chairs.
In the future, the society hopes to resurface La Flecha’s courtyard, erect a wall emblazoned with the names of the society’s founders and donors, continue its speaker series — which brings in people to speak on topics from drought-tolerant plants to the Mills Act — continue the digitization and organization in its archives for ease of access and unveil a statue of Lilian J. Rice.
If you are interested in taking a tour at the La Flecha House or learning more about Rancho Santa Fe’s history, or the society itself, go to ranchosantafehistoricalsociety.org.