Rancho Posa de los Ositos

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Rancho Posa de los Ositos was a 16,939-acre (68.55 km2) Mexican land grant in the Salinas Valley, in present day Monterey County, California. It was given in 1839 by Governor Juan B. Alvarado to Carlos Cayetano Espinoza.[1]

The name means "the pool of the little bears". The grant extended along the west bank of the Salinas River south of present day Greenfield.[2][3]


Jose Carlos Cayetano Espinosa (1815–1865) was the son of Salvador Maria Espinosa, grantee of Rancho Bolsa de las Escorpinas. Carlos Cayetano Espinosa received the four square league Rancho Posa de los Ositos in 1839, and married Josefa Maria Boronda (1826–) in 1842.

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 Posa de los Ositos was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1853,[4] and the grant was patented to Carlos Cayetano Espinoza in 1865.[5]

William Dunphy bought Rancho Posa de Los Ositos. William M. Dunphy (1827–1892), born in Ireland, went to Texas in 1845, and then came to San Francisco in 1849. He had brief success in gold digging, and turned his attention to the cattle business. In 1852 Dunphy married Carmen Uvilla. He formed a partnership with Thomas Hildred, in 1855, that was to become one of the largest in ranching operations in the West. In 1881, he bought out the Hildred interest.[6]

William Dunphy is survived today by 1 Great-Great Granddaughter, Julia Viola Burnett, and 3 Great-Great-Great Grandsons, Noah Burnett, Matthew Burnett and Daniel Burnett.

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 Posa de los Ositos
  3. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9. 
  4. ^ United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 209 SD
  5. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
  6. ^ Bailey Millard, 1924, The San Francisco Bay Region:William Dunphy, Vol. 3, page 276-279, American Historical Society

Coordinates: 36°17′24″N 121°13′12″W / 36.290°N 121.220°W / 36.290; -121.220