Harold Bell Wright lived his last ten years (1934-1944) in
Escondido where he built a beautiful
ranch-style home on sixty acres he called Quiet Hills Farm.
It is now just north of the city limits of San Diego, just east of
the Wild Animal Park exit from the Interstate 15 freeway.
To read Wright's comments on his purchase and development of this
property, and what his life was like during his Quiet Hills Farm days,
He must have written thousands of letters to people
from this location, because a large percentage of the books and
letters signed by Wright are from Quiet Hills Farm.
Most of the 60 acres was later developed into an expensive and
nice suburb. Today Wright’s home
is a private residence located on 1.13 park-like acres, beautifully maintained.
For several years the house was a home not only to
the owners but to 4-6 older folk who needed special
care, but by 2004 the owners were the only occupants. This is not a house you can drive by and look at, as it is
almost completely invisible from any street. If you wish to get a closer look
at the home you should make arrangements in advance by writing to Mr. and
Mrs. Goswick at 713 Quiet Hills Farm, Escondido, CA 92029.
The house is
best known by neighbors today as the
Rueben H. Fleet estate house.
Mr. Fleet, a wealthy San Diego businessman, purchased the house from
Wright shortly before Wright's death in 1944. Fleet owned
Consolidated Aircraft, known later as Convair, and sold still later to General
Today the home
and property are elegant, beautiful, and well-maintained. Wright's
personality and artistic talent can be seen everywhere, from the masterful
floor plan to the wrought-iron light fixtures and the stonework around the
walkways. Earlier in his life Wright liked to make wrought iron
objects with his own hands, but in Escondido he hired a local craftsman named Mr.
Bandy to create iron hardware and lamps to his specifications.
In 2004 the Goswicks put the house up
for sale, but later withdrew the listing. According to the listing,
the house has 4,448 square feet, not counting the 520 square foot family
room which is built into the original garage. The house has five very
large bedrooms, four bathrooms, a 36' by 19" living room, a 17' by 15'
dining room and a 20' by 13' "extra room." The master bedroom is 23' by
Small Photos to See Larger Photos
||Front door of house, on the northeast corner of
house. Front door is in center of photo. Dining room is under
the arches on the right. Kitchen is just to right of photo.
||View from the east, looking west. Front door is
on right edge of photo. The current owners added the plywood trim to
the posts around the porch, creating the appearance of arches.
||View from the southeast, looking northwest.
Master bedroom is on the left, other bedroom and bathroom windows
are visible near center of photo. Living room and veranda
are on the right.
||View of north side of house, looking east.
Kitchen in on far right of photo. This is the opposite side of
house from driveway.
||Northwest corner of house. Current owners have
turned three-car garage into a wonderful den. On the left of
the photo is a gate into a courtyard with a fountain.
||Looking north along west side of house. Wright's
stone study/writing room is just past propane tank. Door on
right leads to Wright's shop and storage rooms under house.
||View from driveway southwest of house, looking
northeast. Wright built the terraces and planted trees with
help of day-laborers.
||This beautiful natural-looking pool on west side of
house was added by a later owner.
||This postcard was a marketing tool used by an owner a
few years ago when the house was for sale.