Ada Laura “Chick” Miller Mahr

In 1923 Ada “Chick” Miller’s family moved to Fallbrook when she was just three years old. At the age of 19, Chick married Herbert Charles Mahr, whose family moved to Fallbrook in 1919, and together the two purchased property and stared a grove of citrus and avocados on a small plot of land that is now known as Clemmons Lane.

Chick 1937 Graduation
Chick and Herb Mahr

In the early 1940s, Chick worked in the Fallbrook Citrus Packing House while Herb worked as a carpenter to support their ranching endeavor.

Chick Mahr working in Fallbrook Citrus Packing House in 1940’s.
She is leaning on her elbow, fron row, 4th from right.

In 1948, Chick began working in the cafeteria of Fallbrook Elementary School and Herb and Chick founded Mahr Ranch, a 20-acre ranch on Live Oak Park Road.

Frank Miller (Chick’s father) and Herb Mahr planting citrus grove at Mahr Ranch
Chick the Cafeteria Lady
Fallbrook Elementary School
Chick, Teresa McDonnell, Thea Moore, Marion McLean – FUHS Snack Bar Staff

In 1956, as the grove grew and prospered, Chick moved to Mary Fay Pendleton and worked in the cafeteria there until 1961. At that time, she transitioned to Fallbrook Union High School, where she worked until Herb passed away in 2002.

Chick, Marion McLean, ??, Thea Moore Margret Burchett cooking burgers
A tribute to “Chick’s Cafe” written by FUHS student Mark Satkowski, early 1970s

Comments by students from the class of 1975


Chick and Daughter, Jan Owen
Herb and Chick at Mahr Ranch in the early 2000s

Following Herbs death, Chick’s daughter, Jan Owen, joined her in the operation of Mahr Ranch. In 2005, Mahr Ranch began its transition to an organic operation and continued to successfully produce citrus and avocados.