The Rich Heritage of Rancho San Leandro

Sited on a gently rising slope, with glorious views that extend from the Santa Ynez mountains across the Montecito Valley to the shimmering Pacific, this unique Ennisbrook property of approximately six acres, spans the centuries and links Santa Barbara’s rich historic past to the elegant Montecito lifestyle of the 21st century.

In one of the largest land grants in the mid-1850s, the Dominguez family became the owners of 365 acres of Pueblo lands in Montecito. Dotted with native oaks and eucalyptus, it was here the family built their splendid adobe, which stands today, as one of California’s oldest and most authentic adobe homes.

Through wrought iron gates, the entry drive lined with century old olives passes fenced green paddocks as it rises to the historic adobe that has been masterfully restored to its original splendor. The dramatic 50’ long Living and Dining room is spectacular in design and decoration. Matching fireplaces anchor the east and west walls and imbue the room with great presence. Massive adobe walls, finished in thick white plaster feature deep set French doors and windows that invite in the soft Santa Barbara light. The exquisite peg and mortis beamed ceiling, lustrous red Saltillo tile floors, wrought iron sconces and richly stained wood contribute to the high grandeur of the room, an exquisite setting for family holidays or large-scale parties.

Expansive covered walkways extend around the approximate 2750 sq. ft. adobe that serves as the Owner’s residence. The tile floors from the Living room extend into the beautifully proportioned, light filled Master Bedroom that features a charming wood burning fireplace and a handsome trestle and beam ceiling that contrasts beautifully with the white plaster walls. A delightful bath with white porcelain pedestal sinks, tumbled-travertine clad soaking tub, separate stall shower and large walk-in closet completes the Master suite.

Adjacent to the Living/Dining area is the bright and cheerful farmhouse kitchen. With abundant counter space, top-of-the-line appliances and ample storage, it is ideally designed for casual family dinners or large catered events. A copper sink in the pantry dates to adobe’s origins. The kitchen flows into a large breakfast room where windows overlook the green paddocks and French doors open onto the lovely kitchen gardens. A corner, cast-iron stove provides welcome warmth on cool winter mornings, and serves as reminder of Santa Barbara’s past.

The stairwell that descends from the Breakfast room to a subterranean billiard room and wine cellar is decorated with wrought-iron panels. Surrounded by excellent vintages from the Santa Ynez valley, this ambiance filled room will be the setting for many spirited games of pool.

To accommodate family and friends, a sensitive master plan was developed that would respect the historic integrity of the adobe while providing additional living space. The design evolved from a key element of Spanish Colonial and Mission-style architecture – a large square courtyard built around a central water feature – that would link the original adobe to the new guest and service wings. The L-shape of the two new wings was designed to align with the north wall of the original adobe and create the large open courtyard. A low wall with a welcoming hacienda entrance gate was built to enclose the courtyard on its eastern perimeter.

The front door of the approximate 3600sq.ft. Monterey Wing opens onto an intimate Foyer. The sunken Living Room features an impressive stone fireplace, flanked by French doors that open onto a sprawling covered porch. This spectacular outdoor entertainment area features a fabulous outdoor fireplace with dining and sitting areas that offer panoramic views to the ocean. From this delightful terrace, the garden descends through the fragrant kitchen and herb garden. Mirroring the central courtyard in purpose, this large outdoor room connects the Monterey wing to the adobe. Decomposed granite and natural stone pathways lead past raised beds of roses, vegetables and herbs; a natural stone bird bath is the focal point of the central octagonal bed edged with natural stone and planted with rosemary and lilac. A romantic wooden swing hangs in the shade of a wooden pergola, and is a peaceful setting to enjoy views over the property.

To the right of the Entry in the Monterey wing is the well-designed, highly functional, auxiliary kitchen that allows the Monterey wing to be completely autonomous from the adobe. Conveniently located on this level is a spacious guest room and bath that features adobe brick walls and an outdoor terrace, as well as a laundry and powder room. A lovely staircase ascends to the upper level where a charming sitting area opens to two guest suites. While similar in size and amenities, each enjoys its own distinct character. The south facing suite features a plaster and beam ceiling and a romantic covered balcony, while the north facing suite enjoys a corner, wood-burning fireplace and plaster walls. Both bedrooms feature elegant hardwood floors, large walk-in closets, bathrooms with claw-foot free-standing tubs and stall showers.

Located in the wing that bounds the courtyard to the north is the Formal Library/Study with a Santa Barbara stone fireplace surround, built-in book cases, mullioned windows, octagonal red floor tiles and a handsome wrought-iron hanging light fixture. Located steps from the Library, is the state-of-the-art gym with French doors and a half-bath. A spacious three-car garage provides an entire wall of enclosed cabinetry, and is accessed from the Monterey Wing and Library by both a covered breezeway and walkway.

To the west of the home is a wonderful carriage turnaround and further down the slope is the beautifully maintained horse barn that stands in the shade of a flowering jacaranda. Four generously-sized, covered stalls open out to a covered walkway. All stalls feature rubber floor mats and pulverized rubber tilling. Other features include: a large tack room, rubber-matte wash racks, and a covered area for Feed and Storage. The stable overlooks a superb fenced arena (approximately 60m X 120m), the idyllic setting for daily training and formal dressage events.

Suzanne Perkins

Cell: (805) 895-2138
CalBRE#: 0116512

Sotheby’s International Realty
1106 Coast Village Road, Suite C
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

Susan Pate

Cell: (805) 895-9385
CalBRE#: 01130349

Village Properties
1250 Coast Village Road
Santa Barbara, CA 93108

The History of the Ennisbrook Neighborhood.

On a hill commanding a grand view of the Pacific, just off San Leandro Lane, sits one of Montecito’s oldest buildings. The Dominguez adobe not only harkens back to the South Coast’s Mexican era, but also stands as the centerpiece of the residential development Ennisbrook.

In 1845, retired presidio soldier Nemecio Dominguez was granted 356 acres of Santa Barbara’s pueblo lands in Montecito. He was one of 15 children of José and Marcelina Dominguez, who for a time owned the famous giant Montecito grapevine. Although officially granted the land in that year, it is possible that Dominguez had already constructed the adobe home the previous decade. In any case, Dominguez settled down to farm a small portion of his Rancho San Leandro. About the only other improvement Dominguez made to the property was the construction of a small horse racing track behind the house. In 1868, seven years before his death, Dominguez sold Rancho San Leandro to Edward Doty who very soon after sold it to Jarvis Swift, a hotel operator from Nevada. It was under Swift, and then his son James, that major improvements were made on the ranch. Whereas Dominguez had carried on not much more than subsistence farming, the Swifts tried to make the property into a true commercial concern, raising a variety of crops. Further ownership changes followed. One owner, local attorney George Gould, was responsible for putting in the two arched stone bridges that still grace the property.

Herbert C. Cox of Toronto bought the ranch from Gould in 1916 and it was he who rechristened the property as Ennisbrook. He enlarged and remodeled the old adobe and, being a horse enthusiast, he constructed two polo fields, one complete with bleachers. The property’s association with the local polo scene intensified when Elmer J. Boeseke Jr. bought Ennisbrook in 1926.

Albert Boeseke had arrived in Santa Barbara in 1866 and opened a hardware business. A number of his sons, including Elmer (who was a physician and served two terms as mayor of Santa Barbara), were avid polo players. This love of the sport was passed on to the next generation, most notably to Elmer’s son, Elmer Jr. The latter was a nationally recognized star. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic team in 1924 and was on the team that won the 1933 National Open Championship. The following year he was ranked a 10-goal player, the highest rating possible. Ennisbrook became a center for local polo, with the Santa Barbara Polo Club using the facilities until the early 1930s.

The heyday of Ennisbrook was fairly short-lived. The Depression, the temporary abandonment of polo as an Olympic event, and the onset of World War II all combined to lessen local interest in polo. By the mid 1940s, the polo facilities at Ennisbrook were weed-filled and largely forgotten.

The property was little used and minimally maintained up through the death of Elmer Boeseke Jr. in 1965. Ennisbrook remained in the Boeseke family until sold to Jack Theimer and Pat Bourgeois in 1986. Two years later the county approved their plans to build 63 homes on the former Rancho San Leandro. This approval was contingent upon the developers opening Montecito’s first nature preserve, 44 wooded acres along San Ysidro Creek. The preserve opened to the public in 1990 and is a favorite with hikers. The Ennisbrook development, just to the east of the preserve, is ongoing. The marriage of nature preserve and residential development makes Ennisbrook unique in Montecito.

From the Santa Barbara Independent.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Suzanne Perkins
Cell: (805) 895-2138
Office: (805) 265-0788
DRE# 01106512
Email Suzanne

Kalai Kennedy
Showings & Assistance
Office: (805) 265-0787
Email Kalai