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Rancho Santa Fe Family History

U.T. Clotfelter was an attorney for the Santa Fe Railroad. He later became President of the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company, the real estate arm of the Santa Fe Railroad in charge of all the properties along the right-of-way including the railroad’s Eucalyptus Tree experiment. This was an attempt to develop an alternative source from railroad ties with trees planted in 1906 - 1909.

The Santa Fe was the major financial backer of the Hodges Dam in 1919. U.T. Clotfelter had a role in the development of the dam on through the planning for the residential development of Rancho Santa Fe. The Santa Fe attached restrictions on the early purchasers of the RSF project. In 1926, the railroad relinquished their restrictions to the homeowners. The majority of the landowners, including the railroad with its major holdings, approved the RSF Protective Covenant adopted in 1927. U.T. Clotfelter signed the Covenant on behalf of the railroad.

In 1931, Reginald Clotfelter was hired to sell the railroad’s properties. Their first residence was the refurbished adobe recognized today as the Juan Osuna ranch between Via de Santa Fe and Via de la Valle. That was the Clotfelter’s home when Tom was born in 1932.

As pioneers, both Reginald and his wife, Connie, were involved in so many aspects of the community’s development. Reginald eventually became the Santa Fe’s exclusive agent in the late 1930’s until the last parcel owned by the railroad was sold in 1946. He can also be credited with many financial saves of the Covenant including a forgiven $300,000 debt on the golf course. As the Santa Fe’s agent and “conduit”, his appeals for additional financial subsidies and bailout funds for the community were heard and acted upon favorably. Road, sewer, water, and government were all served by Reginald’s energies.

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