Rancho El Sur

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Rancho El Sur was a 8,949-acre (36.22 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Monterey County, California given in 1834 by Governor José Figueroa to Juan Bautista Alvarado.[1] The grant extended between the Little Sur River and what is now called Cooper Point.[2][3]


Juan Bautista Alvarado (1809–1882) was granted two square leagues in 1834. In 1840, Alvarado traded his Rancho El Sur to Captain John Bautista Rogers Cooper in exchange for the more accessible and readily farmed Rancho Bolsa del Potrero y Moro Cojo in the northern Salinas Valley. Cooper had married General Vallejo’s sister, Encarnacion, in 1827. Alvarado was the nephew of Encarnacion Vallejo and her husband Cooper.[4]

When Mexico ceded California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored, but required that the owners provide legal proof of their title. As required by the Land Act of 1851, Cooper filed a claim for Rancho El Sur with the Public Land Commission in 1852,[5] and he received the legal land patent after year of litigation in 1866.[6]

Cooper's daughter, Amelia, married Eusebio Joseph Molera in 1875.[7] Their daughter Frances M. Molera (1879-1968), donated the land to the state as Andrew Molera State Park, requiring that it be named in honor of her brother Andrew M. Molera (d. 1931).

Historic sites of the Rancho[edit]

  • Cooper Cabin. Built by John Cooper in 1861 on his ranch.[8]

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 parage llamado el Sud y solicitado por Juan Bauta. Alvarado : [Rancho El Sur, Calif.]". 
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho El Sur
  4. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9. 
  5. ^ "Finding Aid to the Documents Pertaining to the Adjudication of Private Land Claims in California, circa 1852-1892". 
  6. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
  7. ^ "1932PASP...44..174C Page 174". 
  8. ^ "Big Sur Cabin". 

Coordinates: 36°18′00″N 121°50′24″W / 36.300°N 121.840°W / 36.300; -121.840