Edgemoor as a Dairy Farm
The Edgemoor Farm Dairy Barn was built in 1913. Edgemoor was part of a Spanish land grant to Maria Antonio Estudillo who married Miguel de Pedrorena, a native of Madrid. By the 1850’s through a variety of ways, individuals obtained portions of the grant and began to farm. Walter Hamlin Dupee purchased Edgemoor Farm in 1913 and built it into a national award-winning dairy farm, polo pony ranch and early tourist attraction. Such was his prominence that the Guernsey Breeders Association in 1921 called his place “the foremost authority and breeder in the U.S., having given the most grand champions at this ranch founded by John and Walter Dupee.” Dupee said, “I am interested in pure breeding stock, modern equipment, and scientific methods, which I place at the disposal of all dairymen.” A series of personal setbacks and problems brought Dupee to sell Edgemoor to Godfrey L. Strobeck.
Edgemoor as a Home for the aged and Indignant
Following the Edgemoor Farm’s glory days as a commercial dairy, the County of San Diego purchased the property from Godfrey L. Strobeck for use as a “last resort” home for the aged and indigent in 1923. It was one of the last poor farms (or farm homes) established in the United States prior to the Great Depression and the introduction of Social Security. By the mid-1920’s the Edgemoor cared for 520 people. Throughout the years the County added new buildings; in 1950 apartments and wards were added. In 1953 the County of San Diego discontinued the farm, dairy operations and planned renovation of the barn. Two years later the place name was changed to Edgemoor Geriatric Hospital.
Edgemoor as a Geriatric Hospital
Other buildings were demolished in 1957, 1959, 1960 and 1966, and a new hospital building was erected in 1966. The former milking barns were converted to living quarters. All of the original buildings of the Edgemoor Farm, including the Williamson Ranch House and the Dupee Ranch House are gone. A series of financial problems, facility issues, and basic care of patients, led to the decision to close Edgemoor Geriatric Hospital. The closure would facilitate the building of a new Edgemoor Hospital capable of, caring for, future generations of patients. The new facility opened January 23, 2009. Unfortunately the decision was made to demolish all the old buildings on the Edgemoor property except for one: the Dutch gambrel roof barn, built in 1913.
Edgemoor as a Historic Registered Site
On April 17, 1985 a formal Nomination was sent to the National Park Service, to register the Edgemoor Farm Barn as a historic site. On May 16, 1986 The Barn was added to the National Registry of Historic Places. In the following years the Barn’s address was changed from 9064 Edgemoor Drive to it’s current address and of 9200 N. Magnolia Ave. The Edgemoor Barn is currently owned by the County of San Diego, and the first floor of the Edgemoor barn is license to the Santee Historical Society for use as an active museum and the office of the Santee Historical Society.