Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the LaForce Collection MS 297
MS 297  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information

  • Title: LaForce Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 297
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 7.0 Linear feet (7 boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1952-1983
    Date (inclusive): 1909-1983
    Abstract: This collection contains property and fire damage appraisals produced by James LaForce during his career as an independent appraiser of agricultural land in the 1950s to 1970s, as well as reports on Warner Ranch and reports prepared for the City of San Diego.
    creator: LaForce, Beatrice
    creator: LaForce, James

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    James Clayburn LaForce lived in Alpine and was a resident of San Diego County beginning in 1910. LaForce graduated from the University of California with a degree in Economics, with additional work in Animal Husbandry and Agronomy. He worked for twelve years with the Agricultural Commissioner and State Department of Agriculture in the areas of agricultural research and agricultural law enforcement. He also had extensive experience in San Diego County in short-term agricultural financing and farm management. In 1959, LaForce served as Agricultural Consultant for the City of San Diego, responsible for leasing and managing the City’s agricultural properties.
    LaForce worked as an independent appraiser throughout the County from the early 1950s to the late 1970s primarily working with agricultural land: farms, ranches, and other properties used for cattle grazing. He appraised property throughout San Diego County, but his most frequently visited areas included San Pasqual Valley, San Luis Rey Valley, and the Laguna Mountains. LaForce also prepared a number of appraisals for property in the Salton Sea Basin.
    His wife, Beatrice, also referred to as Bea, frequently served as photographer and her photos were often included in LaForce’s appraisal reports. Beatrice LaForce also wrote a book on the history of Alpine.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains property and fire damage appraisals produced by James LaForce during his career as an independent appraiser of agricultural land in the 1950s to 1970s, as well as reports on Warner Ranch and reports prepared for the City of San Diego.
    The property appraisals were primarily for individual land owners, but also included corporations and other organizations. The bulk of appraisals of fire damage were for properties damaged by the Mesa Grande fire in the Pine Mountain region of San Diego County in September 1956. The quarterly and annual reports on Warner Ranch were prepared for the owners, Vista Irrigation District, between 1960 and 1977, and include information on conditions of the range and cattle herd as well summaries of other activities and agricultural issues.
    In his role as Agricultural Consultant/Farm Manager for the City of San Diego, LaForce prepared reports for the City Manager on property leased by the City, including a large number of acres in the San Pasqual Valley. Additionally, this collection contains maps that are unrelated to specific reports, as well as items from Beatrice LaForce that do not pertain to her husband’s agricultural consulting business. Her items include photos of Alpine, the 1928 diary of an unknown woman who lived in Alpine, and a publication on the Burgess Ranch in San Pasqual Valley.


    The collection is arranged into six series:
    Series I: Appraisals: Property;
    Series II: Appraisals: Fire Damage;
    Series III: Warner Ranch;
    Series IV: Miscellaneous Reports;
    Series V: Miscellaneous Maps;
    Series VI: Miscellanea.
    Series I is arranged alphabetically by last name of the property owner, or by ranch or property name depending on the original description.
    Series II is arranged alphabetically.
    Series III is arranged chronologically.
    Series IV through VI are arranged alphabetically.

    Preferred Citation

    LaForce Collection, MS 297, San Diego History Center Document Archives, San Diego, CA.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    The majority of the appraisals and reports have been removed from their original folders and placed in archival folders. Photographs were often included with appraisals, usually attached with glue. These were not removed and remain fragile.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession #s 810204; 821021A; 890330; 2000.085; 2004.131

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Frank Sweeney in August 2012.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    San Diego (Calif.). Office of the City Manager.
    San Diego Gas and Electric Company.
    San Diego Natural History Museum.
    Santa Fe Irrigation District (Calif.).
    United States. Air Force.
    Vista Irrigation District.
    Zoological Society of San Diego.
    Agriculture -- California -- San Diego County
    Alpine (San Diego County, Calif.)
    Borrego Valley (Calif.)
    Brawley (Calif.)
    Campo (Calif.)
    Cuyamaca Mountains (Calif.)
    Dulzura (Calif.)
    Encinitas (Calif.)
    Escondido (Calif.)
    Fallbrook (Calif.)
    Fires -- California -- San Diego
    Hemet (Calif.)
    Hodges, Lake (Calif.)
    Imperial County (Calif.)
    Julian (Calif.)
    La Mesa (Calif.)
    Laguna mountains
    Oceanside (Calif.)
    Pala (Calif.)
    Palomar, Mount (Calif.)
    Portrero (Calif.)
    Poway (Calif.)
    Ramona (Calif.)
    Rancho Santa Fe
    Riverside County
    Salton Sea (Calif.)
    San Diego (Calif.)
    San Diego County (Calif.)
    San Diego County (Calif.) -- Maps
    San Luis Rey River (Calif.)
    San Marcos (Calif.)
    San Pasqual Valley (Calif.)
    Sweetwater River (Calif.)
    Tijuana River Valley (Mexico and Calif.)
    Vista (Calif.)
    Warner's Ranch (Calif.)