Rancho San Bernardo (Soberanes)

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Rancho San Bernardo was a 13,346-acre (54.01 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Monterey County, California given in 1841 by Governor Juan Alvarado to Mariano de Jesus Soberanes and Juan Soberanes.[1] The grant extended along the west bank of the Salinas River. The grant encompassed present day San Ardo.[2]


The Soberanes family partiarch, José Maria Soberanes (1753-1803) accompanied the Portola expedition to San Francisco Bay in 1769. Soberanes married Maria Josefa Castro (1759-1822) and received Rancho Buena Vista. His sons Feliciano Soberanes (1788-1868) and Mariano Soberanes (1794-1859) were granted Rancho El Alisal in 1833.

Mariano de Jesus Soberanes was a soldier and also held the office of alcalde in Monterey. Mariano Soberanes married María Isidora Vallejo (1791-1830) sister of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. Their daughter, Maria Ygnacia Soberanes, married Dr. Edward Turner Bale grantee of Rancho Carne Humana. Mariano de Jesus Soberanes was granted the three square league Rancho San Bernardo in 1842.[3]

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 was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1853,[4] and the grant was patented to Mariano Soberanes in 1874.[5]

In 1855, Francisco Rico, grantee of nearby Rancho San Lorenzo, bought all of Rancho San Bernardo.

Meyer Brandenstein (-1906) and a partner, Lazard Godchaux, bought two thirds ( 8,901 acres (36.0 km2)) of Rancho San Bernardo in 1871. Alberto Trescony of the adjacent Rancho San Lucas owned the other third (4,445 acres (18.0 km2)).[6] Brandenstein and Godchaux organized the San Bernardo and Salinas Valley Canal and Irrigation Company, a large scale irrigation project in Southern Monterey County, in 1884.[7]


  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 San Bernardo
  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 223 SD
  5. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
  6. ^ Rico vs Brandenstein and Godchaux, Reports of cases determined in the Supreme Court of the State of California, Volume 98, pp. 465-472, Bancroft-Whitney Company, San Francisco
  7. ^ Margaret Barbree Rosenberg,1980,San Bernardo Rancho and The Southern Salinas Valley 1871-1981, Society of California Pioneers Series, Regional Oral History Office University of California

Coordinates: 36°03′00″N 120°56′24″W / 36.050°N 120.940°W / 36.050; -120.940