The Paul Ecke Ranch, Inc. Business
Records and Family Papers at California State University San Marcos Library include
approximately 600 cubic ft. of paper records, prints and photographs, digital and analog
media, and artifacts documenting daily operations of the business i.e. the breeding,
development, production and marketing of flowering plants, particularly the poinsettia.
While the bulk of the records document the national and international sales, strategic
planning, research and development, correspondence and marketing efforts of the business
from 1923 to 2012, the collection also includes the family papers of three generations of
the Ecke family. As of February 2019, the collection is being arranged, described and
rehoused at California State University San Marcos Library.
The history of The Paul Ecke Ranch, Inc. begins with the arrival of the Ecke family in the
United States in 1902. Albert Ecke arrived in 1902 from Germany with his wife, Henrietta,
and their four children, Hans, Margaret, Paul (1895-1991) and Frieda. A former teacher,
Albert operated a vegetarian sanitarium in Germany prior to the move. Once in the U.S., the
family lived in Eagle Rock, Hollywood, where they initially cultivated mostly fruits and
vegetables. In 1906, the family moved to Hayworth Avenue in Hollywood. Later that year,
Margaret died unexpectedly in a shooting accident and the family briefly returned to Europe
(Zurich, Switzerland) in April 1906. However by October, they were back in the United
States. In addition to their farm, Albert also invested in real estate. It wasn't until 1910
that the Eckes added poinsettias to their farming endeavors.
Approx. 600 Cubic Feet
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