World record longest: the Vista Historical Mural!

Did you know the world’s longest mural was painted in Vista, California?

That’s according to Guinness World Records. The amazing “Vista Historical Mural” is 564 feet long!

Originally painted in 2005 by artist Clayton Parker, the colorful mural covers the rear of eight businesses. It’s located along the alley-like Vistacado Lane between Indiana Avenue and Michigan Avenue. The history of Vista is depicted as a very long parade.

I took photos at one end of this mural back in May. I captured much of the recently restored part near the corner of Main Street and Indiana Avenue, with its scenes from the Vistacado Festival Parade. You can see those particular photos and learn a bit more here. At the time I regretted not photographing the entire long, world record mural.

So I returned later. I’ve now documented the whole length! As you can see, some parked vehicles, trash containers and other objects prevented my camera from capturing absolutely everything.

Walk east down Vistacado Lane, as I did, and the painted representation of Vista’s history moves back in time.

Enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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The “berry” sweet Vista Strawberry Festival!

Could the Vista Strawberry Festival be the largest, most popular street festival in all of San Diego County? From what I saw today, it might well be! It is the largest strawberry festival in these parts!

All of downtown Vista–nearly every street it seemed–was closed to traffic and packed with excited families and smiling neighbors, all enjoying a sweet Memorial Day weekend Sunday!

Did you know Vista was once considered the Strawberry Capital of the World?

There was so much going on at the festival, so many happy people dressed as strawberries, or eating strawberries, or buying strawberry art, crafts and concoctions, that I thought I had entered strawberry heaven!

To kids the enormous fun zone, complete with a zip line, must’ve felt like heaven.

Those who raced in the morning 5K, having joined the crowd after the run, appeared to be enjoying themselves, too!

I met lots of great people during my visit and, of course, ate a few strawberries myself. (But I didn’t muster the courage to try the strawberry tamales.)

I was pleased to learn Vista’s Soroptimists (those three smiling faces in one of the photos coming up) have raised lots of money to help young women in difficult circumstances get an education! Visit their website here.

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Huge mural by Joram Roukes in Vista!

Have you seen the 60 foot tall mural at the new Found Lofts apartments in Vista’s Arts and Culture District? Joram Roukes, an internationally famous artist and muralist from The Netherlands, painted it a couple months ago!

The collage-like, multi-wall mural contains many elements, including a mountain climber, and images that represent the culture of the San Luis Rey Band of Mission Indians. The frog and the coyote in the mural come from a traditional animal story of The First People: How Coyote Killed Frog. The Luiseño people inhabited this area long before Spaniards established nearby Mission San Luis Rey in 1798.

The very cool mural is located at 516 S. Santa Fe Avenue. You can’t miss it!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Beautiful new stained glass panels in Vista!

Check out this amazing new public artwork!

Many additional stained glass panels have appeared in Vista along South Santa Fe Avenue in the past couple years.

It was the summer of 2020 when I last explored the Paseo Santa Fe street improvement project and found an early set of panels along the sidewalk. (You can see those photographs and learn a little more about the project here.)

The panels are numerous now. They show various aspects of life in Vista, California. Many of the small scenes depict local plants or agriculture.

To the best of my knowledge, the artist creating all of these beautiful mosaics is still Buddy Smith.

Given the direction of my walk last weekend, I probably didn’t find every finished panel. But I hope you enjoy looking at these…

UPDATE!

I’ve learned from Buddy, the artist, that there are now 28 finished panels! Super cool!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Vistacado Festival Parade mural celebrates Vista history!

A nostalgic mural in downtown Vista, California depicts an annual community parade held in the 1930’s to 1950’s.

One recently restored end of the fun Vistacado Festival Parade mural, painted in 2005 by artist Clayton Parker, decorates the exterior of Barrel & Stave Pour House, near the corner of Main Street and Indiana Avenue.

The parade seems to proceed around the building. There are cool old cars, a marching band, cheerleaders, young baseball players, dignitaries, and even walking avocado mascots!

I smiled when I saw the mural includes an image of Pepper Tree Frosty, which I blogged about yesterday here!

This parade artwork is actually one small part of a much, much longer historical mural that runs 564 feet along Vistacado Lane between North Indiana and Michigan Avenue. The entire stretch of artwork has been recognized as Guinness World Record longest continuous mural!

I glimpsed the very long, somewhat faded artwork down Vistacado Lane during my walk yesterday, and in retrospect I should have photographed all of it. I’ll hopefully remember to do that on my next visit to Vista.

I learned all about the longer mural when I read this article. It explains how the original artist, Clayton Parker, restored the portion that I happened to photograph, back in 2020.

UPDATE!

I later returned to Vista to photograph the entire length of the world record historical mural. You can see those photos here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

A hamburger and Vista’s old Wishing Well.

In Vista, California there’s a Wishing Well that is several generations old. It has gathered pennies in one spot for almost three quarters of a century.

Curious eyes can discover this small Wishing Well across the driveway of Pepper Tree Frosty, right next to their outdoor eating area.

I happened to see it today while waiting for my order of a hamburger at the walk-up window. I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a wishing well. When’s the last time you’ve seen one?

I learned from Dan, the friendly owner of Pepper Tree Frosty, that the well was created in the 1950’s by the Lions Club.

Pepper Tree Frosty, a popular ice cream and fast food destination at 270 South Santa Fe Avenue, was originally a Tastee-Freez, built in 1953. When acquired by Dan’s family years later, it was renamed for the pepper trees lining the nearby creek.

Dan said that coins dropped into the shallow, ornamental Wishing Well go to the Boys and Girls Clubs, although donations came to a long pause during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By the way, my hamburger and fries were super good!

(There’s an image of Pepper Tree Frosty in a cool mural in downtown Vista! I’ll be posting those photos soon! As “well” as more interesting stuff I saw today in Vista!)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

A walk around the Rancho Guajome Adobe in Vista.

The Rancho Guajome Adobe is an architecturally and historically important 19th century ranch house located in Vista, California. I visited it a little over a week ago and walked around the grounds, learning about the fascinating history of the place while taking a few photographs.

I approached the Guajome Ranch House from the Santa Fe Trail to its south, then circled counterclockwise around the complex, viewing the beautiful arcaded veranda, several cisterns fed by wells, the chapel, and other outbuildings. I spotted various signs and plaques relating the history of the ranch, which was once the home of prominent early San Diego resident Cave Johnson Couts and his wife Maria Ysidora Barbara Bandini.

As you can see, I also stepped into a small museum. That’s where you can purchase tickets to guided and self-guided house tours.

According to Wikipedia: “The adobe was built in 1852 and served as the headquarters of Rancho Guajome, a Mexican land grant. Abel Stearns had given the rancho to Ysidora Bandini (sister of his wife Arcadia Bandini), as a wedding gift when she married Lieutenant Cave Johnson Couts in 1851. It was built with the profits from the cattle boom of the 1850s, when many California ranchos supplied the Gold Rush miners and associated new American immigrants with meat and leather. Couts was appointed sub-agent for the native Luiseño people (San Luis Rey Mission Indians) in 1853. He used their labor to improve his properties in the area, including this one and nearby Rancho Buena Vista and Rancho Vallecitos de San Marcos…”

I didn’t venture inside the 22-room hacienda, but I most likely will at some future time. The old ranch house is located in Rancho Guajome Adobe County Park. Check out the parks website here to learn more.

The following photos provide a taste of what you’ll see should you visit this historic place.

Peering from the veranda through an open door…

The sign reads:

The Carriage Courtyard.

Imagine the activity here where Couts quartered his many servants. The ranch foreman lived next to the gate. Horse and equipment stalls, blacksmith shop, tack room, winery, olive vats and a jail made up the ranch service yard. 300 Indian laborers made the thousands of adobe brick to build the walls, and other materials came from the abandoned San Luis Rey Mission with permission of the Diocesan Bishop.

Guajome Ranch House has been designated a National Historic Landmark

This site possesses national significance commemorating the history of the United States of America

1970

National Park Service

United States Department of the Interior

Rancho Guajome

Formerly attached to Mission San Luis Rey, the 2,219 acre ranch passed through brief ownership by two mission Indians, then Don Abel Stearns, and into possession of Ysidora Bandini upon marriage to Col. Cave Johnson Couts. The adobe ranch house built in 1852-53, is one of the finest extant examples of the traditional Spanish-Mexican one-story hacienda with an inner-outer courtyard plan. It was acquired by San Diego County in 1973 for the Guajome Regional Park.

California registered Historical Landmark No. 940

Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation and Squibob Chapter, E Clampus Vitus, April 26, 1981.

This El Camino Real Bell commemorates the trail of California missions established by the padres and honors the bell’s designer: Harrie Rebbecca Piper Smith Forbes

Dedicated by the Woman’s Club of Vista

9/21/96

At its beginning, Rancho Guajome was a working cattle ranch. Because the West was dry, cattle owners like Cave Couts would turn their cattle out on unfenced pastures. However, during this “open range” period, sometimes cattle from different ranchos intermixed, making it difficult to determine which cattleman owned which cattle. The branding iron was invented as a solution…

Cave Johnson Couts was born in 1821 in Springfield, Tennessee, and died in 1874 in San Diego at the Horton House. His wife Maria Ysidora Barbara Bandini was born in 1828 in San Diego, was married in 1851 at the Casa de Bandini in Old Town (now the Cosmopolitan Hotel), and died in 1897 in Los Angeles.

Included in the museum display are Native work baskets, Southern California style, circa 19th century.

Rancho Guajome Adobe farm equipment included a farm wagon, breaking carts for training horses, a broadcast seeder, a sulky used for racing horses, and a four-bottom Stockton plow used to turn soil to prepare fields for planting.

In the past I blogged about the Colorado House, a two-story hotel that was built in Old Town San Diego in 1851 by the very same Cave Couts. Today it serves as the Wells Fargo History Museum. Read that here.

I’ve also blogged about the El Campo Santo cemetery grave of Juan Mendoza, who was shot in the back by Cave Couts. See that here. (During one walk I spotted another mysterious wooden tombstone with the name Juan Mendoza by a parking lot, across the San Diego River from Old Town. Read that here!)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Amazing public art in Vista’s Civic Center Park!

I was pleased to discover some truly amazing public art inside Vista’s Civic Center Park last weekend. The small but beautiful park is situated adjacent to the Civic Center complex, and was very quiet on an early Sunday afternoon.

In addition to a fantastically strange and wonderful sculpture titled Wind Beams, I found four very fine bronze sculptures of children reading and at play!

I’ve tried to determine who created the bronze sculptures of children, but I can find nothing on the internet, and I could find no artist’s name on any plaque. If anyone knows the artist, leave a comment! The sculptures depict a small girl reading a book, a child riding a bike with arms outspread, kids and their friendly dog crossing a curved bridge or log, and two small children riding a large tortoise. The plaque that I photographed, which is mounted near the reading girl, explains these four bronze sculptures were dedicated in October 2012 as a tribute to retired Vista City Manager Rita L. Geldert.

The extremely cool Wind Beams sculpture was created by artist Robert Rochin. The year given is 2010. It’s an unbelievable thing made of four 10 feet long I-beams that move about in the slightest breeze. All I can say is these heavy steel beams must be well lubricated and perfectly balanced! Watching the beams move silently about like immense metal arms whirling in the sky is really strange, even surreal!

Wind Beams, by artist Robert Rochin, 2010.
Wind Beams, by artist Robert Rochin, 2010.

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Art and Memorial Wall at Vista’s Rotary Lane.

A pole at south end of Rotary Lane in Vista expresses May Peace Prevail on Earth in many languages. By the World Peace Prayer Society, 2018.
A pole at south end of Rotary Lane in Vista expresses May Peace Prevail on Earth in many languages. By the World Peace Prayer Society, 2018.

During my adventure in Vista last weekend, I found myself walking down a path through an old linear park. The park is located next to Vista Village Drive, near its intersection with Main Street. A plaque at either end of the park told me I had entered Rotary Lane.

I soon caught sight of two works of art–one honoring peace and the other freedom–and a shining 60 feet long engraved black granite Military Memorial Wall.

I took these photographs. For those who are interested, the images and captions provide a little more information.

Rotary Lane. Established 1966.
Rotary Lane. Established 1966.

Branches of the United States Armed Services on a black marble memorial wall. In honor of all those who serve and protect . . . past, present and future.
Branches of the United States Armed Services on a black marble memorial wall. In honor of all those who serve and protect . . . past, present and future.

Purple Heart City. In honor of U.S. Armed Services men and women killed or wounded in combat.
Purple Heart City. In honor of U.S. Armed Services men and women killed or wounded in combat. Designated by Vista City Council, June 12, 2013.

Partners who made the memorial wall possible.
Partners who made the Military Memorial Wall possible.

Memorial Wall - Dedicated 2015 - Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club.
A small plaque opposite the wall reads: Memorial Wall – Dedicated 2015 – Vista Hi Noon Rotary Club.

Sculpture of a patriotic red, white and blue bald eagle high atop a lamp post at Rotary Lane.
Sculpture of a patriotic red, white and blue bald eagle high atop a lamp post at Rotary Lane.

Freedom's Struggle, by artist Winifred Meiser, 2016.
Freedom’s Struggle, by artist Winifred Meiser, 2016.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Art outside Vista Library celebrates learning!

Colorful artwork that encourages reading greets visitors to the Vista Library.
Colorful artwork that encourages reading greets visitors to the Vista Library.

Many fantastic works of art outside the Vista Library celebrate learning!

An imaginative sculpture and colorful murals greet the eyes of those who draw near this branch of the San Diego County Library. The art inspires us to read books, pursue knowledge, and fulfill our dreams!

I walked past the library yesterday and was absolutely amazed by what I discovered!

I took photos…

Front entrance to the public library in Vista, California.
Front entrance to the public library in Vista, California.

Sculpture at library's parking lot entrance. Climbing into Adventure, by Rick Randall and Jaydon Sterling-Randall, 2012.
Sculpture at Vista Branch Library’s parking lot entrance. Climbing into Adventure, by Rick Randall and Jaydon Sterling-Randall, 2012.

Up in the sky are many colorful wonders toward with the children together climb.
Up in the sky are many fantastic wonders toward with the children ascend.

A fantastic mural near front door of the library. Kids activate their imagination and ambitions with a book.
A fantastic mural near front door of the library. Kids activate their imagination and ambitions with a book.

The mural on the other side of the entrance, with a window to the library bookstore. Students pursue scientific knowledge.
The mural on the other side of the entrance, with a window to the Friends of the Library bookstore. Students pursue scientific knowledge.

Even a painted mouse in the mural is reading a tiny book.
Even a tiny painted mouse in the mural is reading a book.

Bike rack spells READ.
Cool bike rack spells READ.

Abstract mosaic near roof seems to depict bodies in our solar system.
Abstract mosaic near the library’s roof seems to depict bodies in our solar system.

A second mosaic glass mural. All three are titled Interconnected. Created by Cherrie LaPorte.
A second mosaic glass mural. All three are titled Interconnected. Created by Cherrie LaPorte.

The third mosaic glass mural. Abstract design shows how every element in the universe is interconnected.
The third mosaic glass mural. Abstract design shows how every element in the universe is interconnected.

Learning is celebrated with amazing artwork at the Vista Library.
Learning is celebrated with truly amazing artwork at the Vista Library!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!