Rancho El Sur

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Rancho El Sur was a 8,949-acre (36.22 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Monterey County, California given in 1834 by Governor José Figueroa to Juan Alvarado.[1] The grant extended between the Little Sur River and what is now called Cooper Point.[2][3]


Juan Bautista Alvarado (1809–1882) was granted the two square leagues in 1834. In 1840, Alvarado traded his Rancho El Sur to John B.R. Cooper in exchange for Rancho Bolsa del Potrero y Moro Cojo. Captain John Bautista Rogers Cooper (1791–1872) had married General Vallejo ’s sister, Encarnacion, in 1827. Alvarado was the nephew of Encarnacion Vallejo.[4]

With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. As required by the Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho El Sur was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852,[5] and the grant was patented to John B. R. Cooper in 1866.[6]

Cooper's daughter, Amelia, married Eusebio Joseph Molera in 1875.[7] Frances M. Molera (1879-1968), daughter of Eusebio and Amelia Molera, donated the land as Andrew Molera State Park, named in honor of her brother Andrew M. Molera (d. 1931).

Historic sites of the Rancho[edit]

  • Cooper Cabin. Built in 1861 on the Cooper ranch.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ogden Hoffman, 1862, Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Numa Hubert, San Francisco
  2. ^ Diseño del Rancho El Sur
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho El Sur
  4. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9. 
  5. ^ United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 1 SD
  6. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
  7. ^ E.J. Molera (1846-1932)
  8. ^ Big Sur Cabin

Coordinates: 36°18′00″N 121°50′24″W / 36.300°N 121.840°W / 36.300; -121.840