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Escondido City


Escondido City Hall is located at 201 North Broadway, Escondido, CA 92025; phone: 760-839-4631.

Beginnings [1]

The region of Escondido was home to several Native American tribal groups for thousands of years prior to European settlement. The Native Americans used sophisticated tools and techniques for hunting, gathering, farming, milling and ceremonial events along Escondido Creek. From the late 18th century to the early 19th century the area was under Spanish control and many missions were established throughout California during this time to convert the indigenous people. In 1821 Mexico gained its independence from Spain and the local land was divided into large "ranchos." Most of Escondido occupies the former Rancho Rincon del Diablo (Devil's Corner) which was given to Juan Bautista Alvarado in 1843.

California became a United States territory after the Mexican-American war in 1848. During the following decades the Escondido rancho experienced several ownership transfers. Investors purchased the rancho, formed the Escondido Land and Town Company in 1886, and proceeded to subdivide the valley to include a downtown, neighborhood lots and small farm sites. Several model homes were built for prospective residents to temporarily locate while looking for property to buy. A branch line of the Santa Fe Railroad was extended to the community in 1887. Escondido was incorporated as San Diego County's fourth municipality, and California's 78th city, on October 8, 1888.

Escondido grew slowly during its first 70 years as a small, agriculturally based town, with several cycles of growth corresponding to Southern California's rural economy. Escondido's position matured to become inland Northern San Diego County's center for retail, services, health care and cultural facilities while maintaining a special feeling of small-town living. Escondido maintains a vital, historic and walkable downtown, a wide variety of services, recreational amenities, and family-oriented neighborhoods.

  1. City of Escondido California, Escondido's Historical Perspective in Escondido General Plan Draft, May, 2012, www.escondido.org, accessed August, 2012.
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