Rancho San Julian

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Rancho San Julian was a 48,222-acre (195.15 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Santa Barbara County, California given in 1837 by Governor Juan B. Alvarado to José de la Guerra y Noriega.[1] The grant name probably refers to José Antonio Julian de la Guerra. The grant was located west of present day Santa Barbara.[2][3][4]


Known as the Rancho del Rey (Ranch of the King) under Spain, this land west of the Presidio of Santa Barbara served since 1816 as a presidial cattle grazing ground. The ranch was renamed Rancho Nacional by the Mexican authorities. In 1837, the six square league Rancho San Julian land grant was made by Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado to George Rock acting for José de la Guerra. The claim was later purchased, and the title perfected by José de la Guerra.[5][6][7] José de la Guerra (1779 – 1858) was Comandante of the Presidio of Santa Barbara from 1827 to 1842.

With the cession of Alta 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 Julian was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852,[8] and the grant was patented to José de la Guerra in 1873. The official survey was about double the area of the six square league grant.[9]

José de la Guerra died in 1858. Severe drought and financial burdens forced the De la Guerra family to mortgage the property to Gaspar Oreña (1924–1904). In 1854, Gaspar Oreña had married his cousin, Antonia María de la Guerra, youngest daughter of José de la Guerra, after her husband Cesario Armand Lataillade (1819–1849) died. Oreña acquired Rancho La Espada and Rancho San Julian from the De la Guerras in 1864, as partial payment for money owed him by the De la Guerra siblings. He held on to them until 1867 when he sold them both to the Dibblee-Hollister partnership.

Albert Dibblee (1816-1895), born Pine Plains,New York, came to California in 1848. In 1858 Dibblee bought Rancho Santa Anita, and in 1860 his brother, Thomas Bloodgood Dibblee (1823-1895), came from New York to join him. Albert Dibblee and Thomas Dibblee formed a partnership with Colonel W.W. Hollister (1818 - 1886) and bought several land grants in the Santa Barbara area, including Rancho San Julian. In 1868, Thomas Dibblee moved to Santa Barbara and married José de la Guerra's granddaughter, Francesca de la Guerra (1849-). Francesca was the daughter of Josefa Moreno and Pablo de la Guerra, who was the son of José de la Guerra. In 1882, the Dibblee-Hollister partnership was dissolved, and Rancho San Julian partitioned into three tracts. The west tract went to Albert Dibblee, the center tract to Thomas Dibblee, and the east tract to Henry Dibblee.[10] Thomas Bloodgood Dibblee died in 1895 and is buried in the Calvary Cemetery, Santa Barbara.[11] Albert Dibblee also died in 1895.

Well-known geologist Thomas Wilson Dibblee Jr. grew up on Rancho San Julian in the 20th century.

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 San Julian
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho San Julian
  4. ^ Santa Barbara County Rancho Map
  5. ^ Yda Addis Storke, 1891,A Memorial and Biographical History of the Counties of Santa Barbara,San Luis Obispo, and Ventura, California, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago
  6. ^ Mason, Jesse D., 1961, Reproduction of Thompson and West's, History of Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties California, Howell North Books, Berkeley, California,Pages 45-47
  7. ^ Durham's place names of California's Central Coast
  8. ^ United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 10 SD
  9. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
  10. ^ A. Dibblee Poett, 1990,Rancho San Julian : the story of a California ranch and its people, Fithian Press, ISBN 978-0-931832-71-0
  11. ^ Thomas Bloodgood Dibblee

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°32′24″N 120°22′48″W / 34.540°N 120.380°W / 34.540; -120.380