Rancho Las Bolsas

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Ramón Yorba, a Californio ranchero, was patented half of Rancho Las Bolsas in 1872 by the Public Land Commission.

Rancho Las Bolsas was a 33,460-acre (135.4 km2) 1834 Mexican land grant resulting from the partition of Rancho Los Nietos, located from the coast on inland within present day northwestern Orange County, California. The Spanish name "las bolsas" means "the pockets", and refers to pockets of land amongst the marsh wetlands of the Santa Ana River estuary. The rancho lands, adjacent to the southeast of Rancho La Bolsa Chica, include the present day cities of Huntington Beach, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley and Westminster.[1][2]


At the request of the Manuel Nieto heirs, Governor José Figueroa in 1834, officially declared the 167,000-acre (680 km2) Rancho Los Nietos grant under Mexican rule and ordered its partition into five smaller ranchos: Las Bolsas, Los Alamitos, Los Cerritos, Los Coyotes, and Santa Gertrudes.

Maria Catarina Ruiz (widow of Jose Antonio Nieto, son of Manuel Nieto) received Las Bolsas.[3]

A claim was filed by Ramón Yorba with the Public Land Commission in 1852 and he received a US patent for an undivided half in 1874.[4][5]

A claim was filed by Maria Cleof'a Nieto Murillo and her husband Juan Jose Murillo with the Land Commission in 1852, but was rejected by the commission in 1855, because the claimants failed to connect themselves with the grant to Maria Catarina Ruiz. On appeal to the US District Court, this decree was reversed in 1857, and a US patent received for an undivided half in 1877.[6][7]

Abel Stearns became the sole owner of the rancho by 1860, changing the name to Stearns Rancho, and adding it to his land empire. It did not become part of his financial remedy, as his six other ranchos did, as part of the 1868 Robinson Trust. However, the ownership of the grant was challenged later in 1886.[8]


  1. ^ Spanish and Mexican Ranchos of Orange County Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Plat of the Rancho Las Bolsas
  3. ^ Douglas Paul Westfall, 2003, Story of the Town of Bolsa Established in 1870, The Paragon Agency, Orange, California, ISBN 1-891030-38-8
  4. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886 Archived 2013-03-20 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 208 SD
  6. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886 Archived 2013-03-20 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 302 SD
  8. ^ HARRISON v. ULRICHS et al., (Circuit Court, Southern District California, August 12, 1889)

Coordinates: 33°41′24″N 118°01′48″W / 33.690°N 118.030°W / 33.690; -118.030