Loma Ranch

Loma Olive Oil Label 1912
Loma Ranch and bottling Plant at Alturas St. 1895
Workers at Olive Processing Plant on Fallbrook St., 1916
Olive Processing Plant on Fallbrook St., 1917

The property of 160 acres was first homestead in 1885 by a John North. The homestead ran along the north side of today’s Fallbrook Street, extending from roughly Alturas Street up the hill to today’s Main Ave. We don’t have records of what became of Mr. North, but in 1895 Dr. Charles Pratt (1823-1903) was the owner of the Loma Ranch with a large olive orchard. Loma means hill or knoll in Spanish. Dr. Pratt’s property had its own olive oil press and bottling plant on South Alturas Street. A photo is attached. The Loma ranch was a major producer of high-grade olive oil, bottling about 15,000 gallons annually from 1895 until 1919. The Loma Ranch processed olives from other orchards in the Fallbrook area as well. The Loma label was shipped as far as New York. After WWI the domestic market for olive products diminished as the supply from Italy resumed.
By 1916 the Fallbrook Olive Packinghouse had moved up to 215 West Fallbrook Street. Attached is a photo. Today Fallbrook Fertilizer is at this location. In 1919 the facilities were leased to the Fallbrook Citrus Association (FCA) until the FCA finished constructing their own facility. Dr. Pratt’s son Herbert (1878-1962) was on the Board of the FCA. After the olive plant closed, Herbert planted lemon trees and ran a sizeable dairy.

Tom Frew