Rancho San Ysidro
Rancho San Ysidro was a 13,066-acre (52.88 km2) Spanish land concession in present day Santa Clara County, California given in 1809 by Governor José Joaquín de Arrillaga to Ygnacio Ortega. After his death the lands were divided among his three children by Mexican Governor José Figueroa in 1833. The city of Gilroy is at the center of the former Rancho lands.
Ygnacio Ortega (1764–1829) was the son of José Francisco Ortega. Ygnacio Ortega a soldier was married to Gertrudis Arce (born 1772). In the 1790 California census, he is listed as mayordomo (foreman) at the Mission San Gabriel.
After the death of Ygnacio Ortega, the Rancho was partitioned among Ortega's three surviving children by Governor José Figueroa in 1833. Ysabel Ortega received 1 league in the hills east of San Martin. Quentin Ortega and John Gilroy received 1 league.
|Rancho||Grantee||Spouse||Area||Patentee||Patented||Land Case No|
|La Polka||Maria Ysabel Ortega (1797 - )||Julian Cantua||4,167 acres (17 km2)||Martin Murphy||1860||159 ND|
|San Ysidro (Ortega)||Jose Quintin Ortega (1792 - )||Vicenta Butron||4,439 acres (18 km2)||Quintin Ortega||1868||163 ND|
|San Ysidro (Gilroy)||Maria Clara Ortega (1807 - )||John Gilroy||4,461 acres (18 km2)||John Gilroy||1867||216 ND|
John Gilroy (1794–869), born in Scotland as John Cameron, arrived in Monterey, California in 1814. He took his mother's maiden name, and was later baptized as "Juan Bautista Gilroy". In 1821 he married Clara Ortega. With brothers-in-law Quintin Ortega and Julian Cantua, Gilroy made soap near San Felipe Lake (also called Upper Soap Lake), which he traded along with onions and flour from his gristmill to Thomas O Larkin of Monterey.
Captain John C. Frémont and his troops passed through Rancho San Ysidro on their way south in November 1846 during the Mexican American War. They appropriated most of Gilroy's horses. John Gilroy served as an auxiliary alcalde and later as justice of the peace. When the town was incorporated in 1868, citizens honored Gilroy by naming their town after him. His adobe house, said to have been built in 1825, was located in what is now called "Old Gilroy" or "San Ysidro", 21⁄2 miles east of Gilroy. In later years Gilroy lost his property, and he died almost penniless in 1869.
The railroad arrived in 1869, making the community the hub of South Santa Clara County. With the completion of the railroad and the demise of John Gilroy, the growth of the community of San Ysidro shifted two miles west. The new Town of Gilroy was officially incorporated in 1870, becoming the largest community in Santa Clara County with a brewery, flouring mill and a distillery.
Historic sites of the Rancho
- Christian Church of Gilroy was built in 1857, and is the oldest wood framed church in Santa Clara County in continuous use.
- Gilroy Free Library
- Live Oak Creamery
- Old City Hall was completed in 1906
- Early Santa Clara Ranchos, Grants, Patents and Maps
- Ortega Family
- Rancho San Ysidro / San Ysidro School Historical Marker
- J. P. Munro-Fraser, 1881, History of Santa Clara County, California, Alley, Bowen & Co, San Francisco
- Hoover, Mildred B.; Hero & Ethel Rensch, and William N. Abeloe (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9.
- Report of the Surveyor General 1844–1886
- United States. District Court (California : Northern District)
- Diseño del Rancho La Polka
- Diseño del Rancho San Ysidro (Ortega)
- Diseño del Rancho San Ysidro (Gilroy)
- "A trip to the gold mines of California in 1848". California, First Person Narratives. Retrieved 2007-01-14.