Land Grants

Between 1837 and 1846, the Governors of Mexican California made grants of land to petitioners deemed worthy citizens of the sparsely settled area that is now San Luis Obispo County. When the United States took control, property rights were protected by treaty. However, grantees were required to apply to the U.S. Land Commission for a patent on their claim, often a lengthy process. A majority of the original claims in this county were accepted by the Land Commission.

Arroyo Grande: 4,437 acres

Granted by Governor Alvarado to Zefarino Carlon on April 25, 1842, and patented to his son-in-law, Francisco Branch, April 10, 1867. Born in New York, Branch reached California with a trapping party out of Santa Fe, married Manuela Carlon in 1835 and opened a trading store in Santa Barbara.

Asuncion: 39,224 acres

Granted June 19, 1845, to Pedro Estrada, brother of Joaquin Estrada, owner of the Santa Margarita Rancho, and patented to him by the U.S. March 22, 1866. Now part of the present-day community of Atascadero.

Atascadero: 4,348 acres

Granted to Trifon Garcia, a Mexican soldier, by Governor Alvarado May 6, 1842, and patented June 18, 1860, to Henry Haight. In 1913, it was purchased by E.G. Lewis who laid out and sold lots in what he called the “Atascadero Colony.”

Bolsa de Chamisal: 14,335 acres

Granted to Francisco Quijada by Governor Alvarado May 11, 1837, patented to Lewis Burton, a citizen of Santa Barbara, August 27, 1867, and sold by Burton to F. Branch in 1851.

Canada de Los Osos y Pecho y Islay: 2,431 acres

Canada de Los Osos granted December 1, 1842, by Governor Alvarado to Victor Linares. Pecho y Islay granted by Governor Micheltorena to Francisco Padillo April 27, 1843. Both then granted by Governor Pico to John Wilson, September 24, 1845, who had purchased them, and patented to Wilson and James Scott, Sep 23, 1869.

Cholame: 26,622 acres

Granted February 7, 1844, by Governor Micheltorena to Mauricio Gonzales. Subject to raids by the Tulare, the property, was inherited by Ellen White, thought to be Gonzales’ daughter, who received the U.S. Patent May 24, 1865. Acquired in 1869 by W. W. Hollister and R.E. Jack, the ranch remained in the Jack family until the 1960’s.

Corral de Piedra: 0,911 acres

Granted to Jose Maria Villavicencio by Governor Pico May 14, 1841, and May 28, 1846, patented to him October 29, 1867. A captain in the Mexican army, Villavicencio’s land included present-day Edna Valley and its surroundings.

Cuyama No.1: 22,193 acres and No.2: 48,827 acres

Cuyama No. 1 granted to Jose Maria Rojo April 4, 1843. Cuyama No. 2 granted to Cesario Lataillade June 6, 1846. Both patented in 1877 and 1879 to Cesario’s widow, Maria Antonio de la Guerra y Lataillade.

El Chorro: 3,167acres

Granted by Governor Pio Pico to John Wilson and Diego Scott October 10, 1845. Patented to Wilson in 1861, the year he died, this land was later sold to Mrs. Ellen Young and then Col. Joseph H. Hollister.

Guadalupe: 43,682 acres

Granted by Governor Alvarado to Diego Olivera and Teodoro Arellenes March 21, 1840, and patented to them November 23, 1883. Site of the Osos Flacos Lakes, some later owners of portions of this land included Union Oil, Union Sugar, and Tidewater Oil.

Huasna: 22,153 acres

Granted by Governor Micheltorena to Isaac Sparks December 8, 1843, and patented to him January 23, 1879, after portions had been purchased by Francisco Branch. Those who inherited or purchased portions of this land included descendants of Sparks, Porters, Harloe, and Harkness.

Huer Huero: 15,685 acres

Mariano Bonilla was granted one square league May 9, 1842, and three square leagues March 28, 1846. (1 league = 3 miles) Patented to Francisco Branch August 9, 1866, it proved difficult to manage livestock there because of raids by the Tulare.

Huerta de Romualdo: 117 acres

Granted in 1842 to Romualdo, a Chumash, on order of Governor Alvarado. Romualdo, who occupied the land with his family, had been of some special service to the Governor. Located near Cuesta College, it was purchased by John Wilson and patented to his family in 1871.

Laguna: 4,157 acres

Granted by Governor Micheltorena to the Catholic Church July 16, 1844. Taken earlier from the Church during secularization of the mission lands, it was patented September 2, 1859, to Joseph Alemany, Bishop of Monterey.

Mission San Luis Obispo: 53 acres

Founded September 1, 1772, by Father Junipero Serra, patented September 2, 1859, to Joseph Alemany, Bishop of Monterey.

Mission San Luis Obispo Lots

Governor Pio Pico conveyed three lots near the Mission to a Chumash woman named Tona Maria Arellenes March 28, 1846. There is no evidence the property was ever patented to her.

Mission San Miguel: 34 acres

Founded July 25, 1797, by Father Fermin de Lasuen, patented September 2, 1859, to Joseph Alemany, Bishop of Monterey.

Moro ‘Y Cayucos: 8,845 acres

Granted in two parcels by Governor Alvarado: Moro to Martin Olivera and Cayucos to Vicente Feliz. Both grants were purchased and combined by Scotsman James McKinley and are now the sites of the communities of Morro Bay and Cayucos.

Nipomo: 37,888 acres

Granted by Governor Alvarado to William Goodwin Dana April 6, 1837. Patented to his widow and thirteen children December 14, 1868, the land was sold as parcels forming the community of Nipomo when the Pacific Coast Railroad crossed the rancho to reach Santa Maria.

Paso de Robles: 25,993 acres

Granted to Pedro Narvaez May 12, 1844, by Governor Micheltorena, and patented July 20, 1866, to Petronillo Rios, who sold out to James H. and Daniel Blackburn and partner Lazare Godchaux. The Blackburns later partnered with Drury James and developed the hot springs area.

Piedra Blanca: 48,805 acres

Granted to Jose de Jesus Pico January 18, 1840, by Governor Alvarado, and patented to him October 9, 1876. A Mexican military officer scheduled to hang in Dec. 1846 by authority of U.S. Army Captain John Fremont, Pico was saved by pleas from the women of San Luis Obispo, and later served as Justice of the Peace there. George Hearst purchased most of this grant in 1865.

Pismo: 8,839acres

Granted to Jose Ortega by Governor Pro Tem Jimeno November 18, 1840. Sold to Isaac Sparks in 1846 in exchange for 430 head of cattle and $375 in goods. Patented to Sparks November 16, 1866, some time after he had sold it to Francisco Branch, who in turn, sold a portion to John Price who had married Andrea Carlon, and later aided in developing the village of Pismo Beach.

Potrero de San Luis Obispo: 3,506 acres

Granted to Maria Concepcion Boronda by Governor Alvarado November 8, 1842, and patented in her name July 1, 1870, the last land to receive a survey and juridical possession ceremony in the Mexican era. Bought from her by Estevan Quintana in 1855.

Punta de la Laguna: 26,648 acres

Granted by Governor Micheltorena to Luis Arallanes and Emelio Miguel Ortega December 26, 1844, and patented to them July 21, 1873.

Ranchito de Santa Fe: 166 acres

Once a Chumash village, granted September 18, 1842, to Victor Linares by Governor Alvarado, and patented to Linares’ widow, Micaela, and their five children. Acquired by John Wilson in 1855, the land passed to his wife, Ramona, and their children.

San Bernardo: 4,379 acres

Granted to Vicente Cane (Canet) by Governor Alvarado February 11, 1840, and patented to him by the U.S. Land Commission April 1, 1865. When Canet died in 1858, at age 68, he left a wife, Rosa Buitron, and ten children.

San Geronimo: 8,893 acres

Granted to Rafael Villavicencio by Governor Alvarado July 24, 1842, and patented to him July 10, 1876. He was a Mexican soldier and a brother of Jose Maria Villavicencio who received the Corral de Piedra grant.

San Luisito: 4,389 acres

Granted by Governor Alvarado to Guadalupe Cantua August 3, 1841, and patented to him May 18, 1860. The Cantua adobe, restored and increased in size by its subsequent owners, the Hollister family, stands on the present-day Cuesta College campus.

San Miguelito: 14,198 acres

Granted to Miguel Avila by Governor Alvarado on April 8, 1839 and May 10, 1842, and by Governor Pico March 17, 1846. Patented February 23, 1877, to Avila whose son, Juan laid out the town of Avila Beach in 1874.

San Simeon: 4,469 acres

Granted to Jose Ramon Estrada by Governor Alvarado October 1, 1842, patented to claimant Jose Miguel Gomez April 1, 1865, and purchased later by George Hearst. A condition of this grant, as in many others, required that Estrada permited Indians living on the land to continue doing so.

Santa Manuela: 16,955 acres

Granted by Governor Alvarado to Francisco Branch April 6, 1837, and named for his wife. Moving from Santa Barbara, he erected a log and tule home that same year. Patented to Branch August 22, 1868.

Santa Margarita: 17,735 acres

Granted to Joaquin Estrada by Governor Pro Tem Jimeno September 27, 1841, and patented to him April 9, 1861. Purchased later by Martin Murphy, a few hundred acres of it became the town site as the railroad came through around 1889.

Santa Rosa: 13,183 acres

Granted to Julian Estrada by Governor Alvarado January 18, 1842, and patented March 18, 1865. Julian’s brother, Ramon, owned San Simeon, and their cousins owned inland ranchos Santa Margarita and Asuncion.

Santa Ysabel: 17,774 acres

Granted to Francis Arce, a soldier, on May 12, 1844, by Governor Micheltorena, patented by the U.S. May 21, 1866, and purchased by the West Coast Land Company, a real estate development firm, in 1866.

Suey: 48,835 acres

Granted April 6, 1837, by Governor Alvarado to Ramona Carrillo de Pacheco de Wilson in her own name, following her marriage to Shipmaster John Wilson. Her first husband, Romualdo Pacheco, acting comandante of the Santa Barbara presidio, was killed in a rebel uprising.

Source: Information compiled by John Schutz in preparation for an exhibit on rancheros.

Chinese San Luis Obispo

Chinese San Luis Obispo

Presented on February 7, 1998 at the Cuesta College Forum Tong Yun Fow Chinese junks had plied the California coast long before Spanish galleons arrived, but the first recorded Chinese did not appear in San Luis Obispo County until the mid-19th century. Like most...

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History Center

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Dallidet Adobe

Dallidet Adobe

Address: 1185 Pacific St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401Dallidet Adobe and Gardens