Rancho San Jose y Sur Chiquito

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Rancho San Jose y Sur Chiquito was a 8,876-acre (35.92 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Monterey County, California given in 1839 by Governor Juan Alvarado to Marcelino Escobar.[1] The grant extended along the Pacific coast from the Carmel River on the north, past Soberanes Point to Palo Colorado Canyon on the south.[2][3]


The two square league grant was made to Marcelino Escobar, a prominent official of Monterey, in 1839.

In 1841, Escobar’s two sons, Juan and Agustin, sold the rancho to Maria Josefa de Abrego, wife of José Abrego. José Abrego came to California in 1834 with the Hijar-Padres Colony and married Maria Josefa Estrada (1814–), daughter of José Raimundo Estrada (1784–), and half sister of Juan Alvarado. José Abrego was the grantee Rancho Punta de Pinos. Maria Josefa Abrego deeded the land to a group of soldiers from the Monterey Presidio in 1842. In 1844, the soldiers of the Presidio turned the Rancho over to their supervising officer, Colonel José Castro.

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 San Jose y Sur Chiquito was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1853, but rejected by the Land Commission in 1855.[4]

In 1855, Castro filed an appeal with United States District Court, and sold his land to Joseph S. Emery and Abner Bassett, leaving to them the legal fight for ownership. Bassett died, in 1874, leaving his undivided one-half interest to his wife and eight children.[5]

Only two of the Escobar children, Juan and Augustin, had sold the rancho to Josefa de Abrego in 1841. Complicating the ownership dispute, the other Escobar heirs in 1859 agreed to give to Delos R. Ashley, an attorney, one-half of the rancho if he would get it back for them. In 1860, these same heirs sold a portion of what they claimed to Mathew G. Ireland, who had in 1859, bought a quit claim deed from the Abrego family.[6]

After lengthy litigation, Castro won the appeal. The title was confirmed in 1885, and the grant was patented to José Castro in 1888.[7]

In the early 1880 's coal deposits were found on the rancho. Shortly after receiving the patent for Rancho San Jose y Sur Chiquito in 1888, those who claimed the rancho formed the Carmelo Land and Coal Company, and thus, for the first time in almost half a century, Rancho San Jose y Sur Chiquito came under one ownership.


  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 Jose y Sur Chiquito
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho San Jose y Sur Chiquito
  4. ^ United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 373 SD
  5. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9. 
  6. ^ Aubrey Drury, 1954,Point Lobos Reserve, California State Park, Department of Natural Resources, Sacramento
  7. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886

Coordinates: 36°28′12″N 121°54′36″W / 36.470°N 121.910°W / 36.470; -121.910