Rancho El Cajon

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Rancho El Cajon was a 48,800-acre (197 km2) Mexican land grant in present day San Diego County, California given in 1845 by Governor Pio Pico to María Antonia Estudillo de Pedrorena.[1] The name means "the box" in Spanish, and refers to the valley between hills. The grant encompassed present day El Cajon, Bostonia, Santee, Lakeside, Flinn Springs, and the eastern part of La Mesa.[2] The grant contained the 28-acre (0.11 km2) Rancho Cañada de los Coches grant.


Previously lands of the San Diego Mission, the eleven square league grant was received in 1845 by María Antonia Estudillo, wife of Miguel Pedrorena. The grant was originally called Rancho Santa Monica, and later renamed Rancho El Cajon. Miguel Pedrorena (1808–1850), a native of Madrid, Spain, who came to California from Peru in 1838, operated a trading business. He married María Antonia Estudillo, daughter of José Antonio Estudillo, alcalde of San Diego.[3][4][5]

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 El Cajon was filed by Thomas W. Sutherland, guardian of Pedrorena's heirs (his son, Miguel, and his three daughters, Victoria, Ysabel and Elenain) with the Public Land Commission in 1852,[6] confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court,[7] and the grant was patented in 1876.[8]

In 1868, Los Angeles land developer Isaac Lankershim bought the bulk of the Pedrorena's Rancho El Cajon holdings, employing Major Levi Chase, a former Union Army officer, as his agent. Chase received from Lankershim 7,624 acres (30.9 km2) known as the Chase Ranch. Lankershim hired Amaziah L. Knox, a New Englander whom he had met in San Francisco, to manage Rancho El Cajon.[9]

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 El Cajon
  3. ^ R.W. Brackett, 1939,A History of the Ranchos of San Diego County, California, Union Title Insurance and Trust Company.
  4. ^ Lynne Newell Christenson, Ellen L. Sweet, 2008, Ranchos of San Diego County, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7385-5965-0
  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. ^ United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 114 SD
  7. ^ United States v. Thomas W Sutherland, Guardian of Victoria Isabel Miguel and Helina Minor Children of Miguel De Pedrorena Deceased, U.S. Supreme Court, 60 U.S. 19 Howard 363 (1856)
  8. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
  9. ^ The Fiftieth Year By Charles V. Birkett

Coordinates: 32°49′48″N 116°57′00″W / 32.830°N 116.950°W / 32.830; -116.950