Rancho Santa Margarita
- This article refers to the San Luis Obispo County, California land grant. For the city of Rancho Santa Margarita, see Rancho Santa Margarita, California
Joaquín Tomas Estrada (1815-1893), the son of José Raimundo Estrada and Josefa Vallejo de Alvarado, was born in Spanish colonial Monterey, Alta California. Originally part of the northern lands of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, the four square league Rancho Santa Margarita was granted to Estrada in 1841. At the time, his older half brother Juan Bautista Alvarado was Governor of Alta California for independent México. Joaquín Estrada and his wife Maria de Jesus made their home at the adobe ranch headquarters. His brother Pedro Estrada was granted the adjacent Rancho Asuncion in 1845. Joaquín Estrada was elected to the post-staehood first San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors in 1852, and served as County Treasurer in 1853-1854.
With the Mexican 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 Santa Margarita was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852, and the grant was patented to Joaquín Estrada in 1861.
In 1861, Estrada sold the rancho to Martin Murphy Jr. (1807-1884) and his wife Mary Bulger Murphy (d.1892) of Sunnyvale, who had come to California with the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party in 1844. The Murphys turned over running of the rancho to their son Patrick Murphy, who was a General in the California National Guard. Patrick Washington Murphy (September 11, 1840 in Missouri - November 1, 1901 in San Francisco) operated Rancho Santa Margarita, and the adjacent Rancho Atascadero, and Rancho Asuncion, altogether comprising about 61,000 acres (247 km2) from his Rancho Santa Margarita headquarters. Patrick Murphy married Mary Kate O'Brien in 1870. In 1876, Murphy bought the 9,000 acres (36 km2) Rancho Cojo.
In 1889, Patrick Murphy enticed the Southern Pacific Railroad to Rancho Santa Margarita by selling them land near the ranch house. By 1890 Patrick Murphy's efforts to entice further land buyers had largely failed, and Murphy died in 1901. In 1904, the Murphy family sold Rancho Santa Margarita to the three Reis brothers - Ferdinand, Christian and Gustav, German emigrants who made their fortune in the California Gold Rush.
Historic sites of the Rancho
- Santa Margarita de Cortona Asistencia — sub-mission established in 1782, on land that later was within the rancho.
- Ogden Hoffman, 1862, Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Numa Hubert, San Francisco
- Diseño del Rancho Santa Margarita
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho Santa Margarita
- Hoover, Mildred B.; Hero & Ethel Rensch, and William N. Abeloe (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9.
- United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 149 SD
- Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
- J. P. Munro-Fraser, 1881, History of Santa Clara County, California, Alley, Bowen & Co, San Francisco
- Biography of Martin Murphy, Jr.
- Thompson & West, 1883, History of San Luis Obispo County California, Oakland
- Patrick Washington Murphy