Sikes Adobe

Built in 1870, the Sikes Adobe historic farmstead features one of the oldest structures in San Diego County, and one of the few remaining adobes in the region. The Farmstead represents a legacy of 19th-century California and our ranching and farming history.

Located in San Diego, at the gateway to the San Pasqual Valley agricultural preserve, the Sikes Adobe historic Farmstead is State point of historical interest number SDI–013 and a registered city of San Diego historical landmark. It is part of the San Diego River Park, a 55 mile open-space Greenway and park system that extends from the mountains in Julian to the ocean at Del Mar.

The Sikes Adobe historic farmhouse, Escondido, California after the witch Creek fire of October, 2007.

Zenas Sikes and his family were among the earliest American farmers to settle in California following statehood. Their history tells a compelling story of the pioneer experience in San Diego. Zenas Sikes and Eliza Burrell had both come west during the gold rush era.

Meeting in Northern California, they married in 1853 and settled in Santa Clara County. In 1870, they moved to San Diego County along with their six children, to settle on 2,400 acres purchased by Zenas from the parceled former Rancho San Bernardo.

Poway Historical Society, 1885

The Sikes family turned their purchase into productive farmlands, instrumental to the growth of the town of Bernardo, and later the community of Escondido, as well as the infant city of San Diego. "King Grain", the cash crop of the 1880s and 1890s, was wheat. Along with other wheat farmers of San Diego County, the Sikes shipped their week crop from San Diego to England. As the family's fortunes improved, the rustic Adobe was expanded into a seven-room Victorian farmhouse.

A wealth of information exists about the Sikes family, their daily activities, their personal histories, their possessions and their farm implements, making the site rich with interpretive opportunities. The house is open to the public for docents tours. Our goal is to interpret the family's daily life as it would have been lived in 1881.

Future Plans

Since the 2007 Witch Creek fire, the farmhouse has been reconstructed, but not its associated adobe creamery. In addition, the fire-damaged water tank was replaced and returned to its intended use, supplying water to the interpretive kitchen and berry gardens.

Additional funding will be needed for the continued restoration and interpretation of the site. The nonprofit San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy has created a special membership category, the "Living History Circle", to assist cultural sites within the San Dieguito River Park.

The Living History Circle membership provide funds supporting the Sikes Adobe. To find out more about joining, please visit and click on "support" and select "Living History Circle".