20223 Elfin Forest Road
Elfin Forest, CA, 92029
The old Spanish and Mexican land grants of the mid-1800's never included any of the chaparral that could possibly be avoided since it was considered undesirable and made poor pasture land. Squatter Pierre Renand claimed 160 acres in the Harmony Grove area, which was adjacent to the Ranch Rincon del Diablo granted to Juan Bautista Alvardo in 1843. In 1868, the rancho was sold to Ed McGeary and three members of the Wolfskill family. John Wolfskill acquired Renand's portion in 1876 for "one dollar's gold coin." A huge sheep ranch prospered on the Wolfskill ranch for fifteen years.
In the 1880's, a Welshman named Spook homesteaded in the Elfin Forest valley. As recently as 1971, remains of his orchard could be seen. It is probably because of this man that we hear the term "Spooks Canyon," which has been a nickname our valley has had for years. The meetings of spiritualist groups in Harmony Grove provide another version of the origin of that nickname. The name also fits in well with the ghosts and legends that are also part of our area.
THE OLD STAGE COACH ROUTE
Before the turn of the century, the Butterfield Stage Coach Company used Harmony Grove Road
as part of its route from
Escondido to San Diego. The route went from Ramona to Escondido, followed the Escondido Creek, turned west to Encinitas
and then south to San Diego.
A man name Parkrider had a store near the junction of Harmony Grove and Elfin Forest Roads. The road was paved in the late 1950's and after the vacation ranch closed down in the1990s, even the few remaining bricks from the store disappeared.The road was paved in the early 1950's.