An almost identical building, owned by J. Antonio’s brother, Francisco, stands today as the center piece of San Jacinto, and one of a few listings contributed by Riverside to the National Register of Historic Places.
The pictures here are from the spring of 2014. The Soboba Mansion was not in the Soboba reservation, but on land purchased by the Soboba Nation in the late 1990's.
Why wasn’t this house saved? This and other questions guided this article. For years people looked at the house as a haunted place; but the only haunting element surrounding the history of this mansion is the disregard for the history shaping California’s present.
Not much has been written on the original owner of the Soboba Mansion. Instead, a number of imprecise references may be found in the few sources available.
A photograph of the house and the vague reference of El Topo serves as evidence that there was a photographer, as fascinated by the house in its glamorous beginnings as I was when I traced the path to what remained before the demolition.
The photograph mentioned was taken by Charles Van Fleet, and owned by the Museum of San Jacinto. The words El Topo, the nickname attributed to Antonio Estudillo, are written on it.