In the Fallbrook Village News…

My hometown paper, the Village News, published this back in June, and I just found it!

Spelts graduates from Trinity Law SchoolSpelts graduates from
Trinity Law School

Last updated 6/26/2017 at Noon

SANTA ANA – Cheryl Spelts of Fallbrook was awarded with the juris doctorate from the Board of Regents of Trinity Law School during commencement exercises held at the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton May 30.

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View a screenshot of the page on the

Mansion last piece of 19th-century dynasty

On March 30, 2012, the Press Enterprise ran a couple of my photos of the Estudillo Mansion in an article on the San Jacinto landmark, that was featured on the front page of their Local Section of the Sunday paper. They also featured a couple of quotes from me, on the history of the house.

It’s always fun to see one of my photos on the front page of any section of a traditional printed newspaper!

Home > Local News > Riverside County > Hemet-San Jacinto > Hemet-San Jacinto Headlines

SAN JACINTO: Mansion last piece of 19th-century dynasty

Estudillo Mansion, San Jacinto, California
CHERYL SPELTS/CONTRIBUTED IMAGE The Estudillo Mansion, built in 1884, fell in and out of disrepair throughout the 20th century. It’s since been restored by a local group and is part of the Francisco Estudillo Heritage Park in San Jacinto.

Published: 30 March 2012 10:39 PM

A stately home on 6 acres in central San Jacinto is an elegant token left over from a 19th-century dynasty.
The Estudillo Mansion was built in 1884 by Francisco Estudillo, according to a history posted on the city of San Jacinto’s website: “The mansion and a twin mansion, built by his brother, (Jose) Antonio Estudillo, near Soboba Hot Springs, are all that remain of a 35,000-acre Mexican land grant given to their father, Jose Antonio Estudillo, in 1842.”

The father was in charge of the San Luis Rey mission, hence the land grant from Mexico, which the region belonged to until 1850, said Sharon Terracciano, an Estudillo Restoration Association volunteer.

Francisco Estudillo — the younger of the brothers, born in 1844 — traveled with the family’s cattle, which grazed in the San Jacinto area. Initially he lived in an adobe that later burned. After his marriage, he built the mansion.

Estudillo was San Jacinto’s first postmaster, the city’s website notes. He was also a Mission Indian Agent for the U.S. government. Estudillo served on the school board and was San Jacinto’s second mayor, from 1890 to 1892.

Perhaps befitting Estudillo’s high profile, his two-story home had eight rooms, graced by soaring ceilings, Terracciano said. “They had beautiful cross breezes for ventilation,” she said.

Upstairs are four bedrooms. Ground-floor rooms include a “gentleman’s parlor,” said Cheryl Spelts, a photographer who posts her images of the mansion on her website. Estudillo’s safe is still in the wall. A music room displays a piano, and a china pantry lies near the dining room.

Estudillo’s income came from ranching and farming, Terracciano said, but he also kept race horses. Though Estudillo came from an aristocratic family, he sold off some of his land.

“These people were land-rich but money-poor,” Terracciano said. Over time, Estudillo also donated land for a railroad depot and to the Catholic church, she said.

He lost the property to foreclosure in 1901, she said. At that point Estudillo moved to Los Angeles, where he remained until his death about 1920, Terracciano said.

The mansion passed through 26 more owners by1992, when an earthquake rendered it uninhabitable, she said. It was sold to Riverside County, then to San Jacinto in 1998. A local group obtained grants for a seismic retrofit and historical restoration. Those efforts started around 2004, Spelts said.

The mansion was restored to its likely appearance in 1885, Terracciano said. None of the furnishings now in the home belonged to Estudillo but they are authentic to the period, she said.

Spelts feels a personal connection to the mansion.

“I love the house,” she said. Her grandparents’ close friends, Dick and Del Kroker, were among those who launched efforts to get the mansion restored, and she has at least one other relative who also worked on the project.

Meanwhile, the “twin” house near Soboba Hot Springs has been unoccupied for decades and is in disrepair, Spelts and Terracciano said.

The Estudillo mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Located at 150 S. Dillon Ave., it is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. There is no formal admission charge, only requested donations.

For more information, call 951-654-4952.

Estudillo Mansion
CHERYL SPELTS/CONTRIBUTED IMAGE The Estudillo Mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places.

©2012, Enterprise Media. All Rights Reserved • 3450 Fourteenth Street, Riverside, California 92501

Images in the Desert Valley Star

Desert Valley StarThe Desert Valley Star, in the Coachella Valley, published several of my images in their current issue, on newsstands now!

The Idyllwild Monument is set to debut in it’s permanent location, in the center of town, on November 8th. My images of both the monument and David Roy, the artist, are used in companion to a story that begins on page 3, and continues on page 21.

It’s a really good looking weekly publication – and it’s fairly new – it debuted in 2008. So pick up a copy in print, if you can! They also have the full issue available online at

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>> Idyllwild Town Monument by David Roy

Idyllwild Monument in the Desert Valley Star

Desert Valley Star

Michigan Avenue Magazine

Marty Casey in Pacific BeachFrom Marla Zegart of

Marty Casey’s Silver Elements Trees dogtag necklace is featured in this month’s Michigan Avenue Magazine. The monthly magazine is an upscale publication that “celebrates the best of Chicago and its surrounding region, from people, events, and celebrity dish to fashion, fine dining, and shopping.”

To see a scan of the magazine, with a couple of my images, click here.

Stars Down in SEE Magazine

SEE Magazine – a weekly printed magazine in Edmonton, Ontario, Canada – recently did an article on Lukas Rossi and his new band, Stars Down, and it featured one of my images. And it’s currently also available online! You have to click on the image to make it bigger, but it looks good!

From the article…

Forced to define “rock star,” he says it’s someone who affects people with their music, writes honest songs, and reaches deep within to express something true to them and their fans. All of which Rossi is attempting to do with his new project, Stars Down.

I like that definition! And I love seeing my work in print…

Stars Down // Photo: Cheryl Spelts

Fallbrook Sourcebook is here!

Fallbrook Sourcebook

Last month I spent a week shooting all over town – I shot at Palomares House, Dinwiddie Preserve, the Farmer’s Market, Los Jilgueros Preserve, and in all sorts of hidden out of the way places that only long-time Brooktown residents know about. It was great! And now those images are in the 2008 Fallbrook Sourcebook – it’s the only glossy magazine dedicated solely to the Fallbrook/Bonsall area – and it comes out once a year – today!

The cover features six of my images – the only one I didn’t shoot is the food – the rest are my work. I also shot the cover in 2005 – that year it was one image of an artist painting in a garden – so typical Fallbrook stuff!

I also have quite a few images inside the magazine, and now I can blog some of those images. So more tomorrow!

And finally, here’s my ad that appears inside – I’m really happy with the way it turned out!

Cheryl Spelts Photography

My first ad and a quick blurb…

My first ad ran in the local newspaper yesterday, along with a brief mention of my new studio. Very cool!

Village News Article

Village News Ad

New Photography Studio Open

FALLBROOK — Cheryl Spelts, a fine art photographer specializing in fresh and modern portraits and beautiful weddings, opened a new studio in downtown Fallbrook this week. The studio is located upstairs from the Village News at the historic Elder House.

It’s a space that is filled with light, making it perfect for beautiful, natural light portraits, which suits Spelts’ style of relaxed, modern portrait photography. The grounds of Elder House are the perfect backdrop for the outdoor portion of a photo session. Location shoots and wedding photography are also available.

Spelts’ Web site,, features samples of her work and a regularly updated blog.

Spelts is available by appointment only. Please call (760) 728-4282.

The Fallbrook Enterprise

CHERYL SPELTS of Fallbrook, took several awards from the Del Mar Fair for her photography: second place – black and white print; second place – color print; second place – creative photography; and third place – photo essay/documentary. Spelts is a former Main Street Cafe waitress, and she is also Cheryl Spelts Photography, specializing in actors, models, and musicians.

I’m also mentioned in the sidebar article above about the Aloha Tailgate Party – the restaurant I worked at had just closed, somewhat unexpectedly, and so the employees organized a potluck tailgate party in the parking lot for our old customers, so that we could all get together one last time and say our goodbyes. I LOVED working at the Main Street Cafe!