List of ranchos of California

Pacheco Adobe, built 1835 by Salvio Pacheco on Rancho Monte del Diablo.

These California land grants were made by Spanish (1784–1821) and Mexican (1822–1846) authorities of Las Californias and Alta California to private individuals before California became part of the United States of America.

- List of ranchos of California

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Alta California

Province of New Spain, formally established in 1804.

Map of N. America showing California when it was part of New Spain. Map dated 1789 from Dobson's Encyclopedia.
Mexico in 1838. From Britannica 7th edition
Mexican departments created in 1836 (shown after 1845 Texas independence), Las Californias at far left in gray.
Map of Mexico. S. Augustus Mitchell, Philadelphia, 1847. New California is depicted with a north-eastern border at the meridian leading north of the Rio Grande headwaters.

Most interior areas such as the Central Valley and the deserts of California remained in de facto possession of indigenous peoples until later in the Mexican era when more inland land grants were made, and especially after 1841 when overland immigrants from the United States began to settle inland areas.

Ranchos of California

Pacheco Adobe, built 1835 by Salvio Pacheco on Rancho Monte del Diablo.
The Guajome Adobe, built 1852–53 as the seat of Rancho Guajome.
Manuel Domínguez built Domínguez Adobe on Rancho San Pedro in 1826.
The Flores Adobe was built 1838-45 by Governor José María Flores on Rancho San Pascual.
The Petaluma Adobe, built by General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo in 1836 on Rancho Petaluma.
Diseño of Rancho Buena Ventura.
The Rancho Los Méganos mansion was built in 1856 by John Marsh.
The Pico Adobe, built by Pío Pico in 1853 on Rancho Paso de Bartolo.
The Casa de Dana was built on Rancho Nipomo in 1839.
The Olivas Adobe was built on Rancho San Miguel in 1841.
Map of the Spanish and Mexican rancho grants in Los Angeles County.
Rancho Los Encinos is preserved as Los Encinos State Historic Park.

The Spanish and Mexican governments made many concessions and land grants in Alta California (now known as California) and Baja California from 1775 to 1846.

Santa Barbara County, California

Located in Southern California.

Mission Santa Barbara from Mission Park, Santa Barbara
South Coast of Santa Barbara County, view looking northeast, showing, from left to right, Isla Vista, Goleta, Hope Ranch, Santa Barbara. All the mountains except for the most distant in the right rear are in Santa Barbara County.
Coast of Santa Barbara and rugged back country. Courtesy: NASA Earth Explorer.
Transition zone (back dunes) in Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge

604 of these land grants were later confirmed by the state of California, with 36 in Santa Barbara County.

Central Valley Project

Federal power and water management project in the U.S. state of California under the supervision of the United States Bureau of Reclamation (USBR).

Shasta Dam, with Shasta Lake at its highest level, July 1965
Drainage ditch in Central Valley Project
Folsom Dam spilling during a flood
Sly Park Dam (left) and auxiliary dam (right)
Satellite photo of San Luis Reservoir and O'Neill Forebay
Red Bluff Diversion Dam on the Sacramento River once posed a significant barrier to salmon, steelhead and sturgeon migration. It has since been replaced with a pumping plant to improve fish passage.
New Melones Dam, seen here with New Melones Lake beyond, is one of the most disputed operations of the CVP
Federal, state and non-governmental organizations involved in the Central Valley
US Department of Interior Bureau of Reclamation - Central Valley Project Map 1938
Friant Dam - NOAA Photo Library
Friant Dam & Milerton Lake
Friant Dam
Photograph "Indian Graveyard No. 1," from report "History of Indians Buried in Friant Dam Reservoir Area (California)... - NARA - 296229 (cropped)
Photograph "Indian Graveyard 'H'...containing the remains of Charlie Johnson and other Indians (Coarsegold Tribe),"... - NARA - 296227
Photograph "View looking southeast of Picciune Indian Cemetery," from report "History of Indians Buried in Friant Dam... - NARA - 296228 (cropped)
Photograph with text of group of Native Americans on land that will be submerged by a dam near Millerton and Friant... - NARA - 296302
Photograph "Rancheria Indian Cemetery below Pincushion Peak, Table Mountain, Fresno County," from report "History of... - NARA - 296225

The act initiated the transfer of 64 million acres of tribal lands via land grants or Ranchos to former Spanish citizens of Californio

Monrovia, California

City located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles County, California, United States.

Monrovia, 1886 (Myrtle Avenue, looking north)
Monrovia, 1892 (Myrtle Avenue, looking north)
Pacific Electric in Monrovia, 1903
Monrovia, 1914 (Myrtle Avenue, looking north)
Upton Sinclair House
Monrovia High School
Monrovia Trolley Bus in front of the landmark Krikorian Theater

Monrovia is made of parts of these two ranchos.

Rancho Santa Margarita

The rancho was granted by Governor pro tem Manuel Jimeno Casarin in 1841 to Joaquín Estrada.

Two Years Before the Mast

Memoir by the American author Richard Henry Dana Jr., published in 1840, having been written after a two-year sea voyage from Boston to California on a merchant ship starting in 1834.

1911 Houghton Mifflin Edition
California hide trade: droughing (carrying) hides from an Alta California shore to boat, for export
First edition of Two Years Before the Mast, 1840
Facsimile of an original manuscript page of the book in Richard Henry Dana's hand.

Dana's ship was on a voyage to trade goods from the United States for the Mexican colonial Californian California missions' and ranchos' cow hides.


Term used to designate a Hispanic Californian, especially those descended from Spanish and Mexican settlers.

Gaspar de Portolá led the 1769 Portolá expedition and served as the first Governor of the Californias.
Juan Bautista de Anza led the 1775-76 Anza expedition.
Juan Bautista Alvarado briefly led a movement for the independence of Alta California from 1836 to 1837.
Noted Californio statesman Pío Pico served as the last Governor of Alta California under Mexican rule.
General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo reviewing his troops in Sonoma, 1846.
The raising of the Bear Flag and proclamation of the California Republic in Sonoma, following the Bear Flag Revolt on June 14, 1846.
The 1847 Battle of Santa Clara was one of the last battles of the conquest.
Signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga by Californio Andrés Pico and American John C. Frémont. The treaty ended the Mexican-American War in California.
Andrés Pico, shown in 1850 in traditional Californio vaquero attire, served as a California State Senator and Adjutant General of California.
The Red Lone Star Flag of California was a symbol of the Californio Revolt of 1836, led by Juan Bautista Alvarado.
Portrait of a Californio vaquero in traditional Californian clothing by James Alexander Walker.
Angustias de la Guerra played a crucial role in defending women's property rights during the drafting of the California Constitution.
Californio vaqueros in 1875.
José Andrés Sepúlveda was one of California's most famed vaqueros.

Many natives who had learned to ride horses and knew a smattering of Spanish were recruited to become vaqueros (cowboys or cattle herders) that worked the cattle and horses on the large ranchos and did other work.

Guillermo Castro (soldier)

Californio ranchero, military officer, and surveyor who once owned vast land holdings in Alameda County.

Portrait by Leonardo Barbieri; 1852.

The Castro family became one of the most numerous and important Californio families of Alta California, and Guillermo was one of many Castro rancho grantees.

Rancho Guajome Adobe

Historic 19th-century hacienda in Rancho Guajome Adobe County Park, on North Santa Fe Avenue in Vista, San Diego County, California.

Hacienda with arcaded veranda, view from southeast (1936).
Northwestern view of Rancho Guajome landscape and adobes (1936).

It was built with the profits from the cattle boom of the 1850s, when many California ranchos supplied the Gold Rush miners and associated new American immigrants with meat and leather.