Rancho Rosa Castilla

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Rancho Rosa Castilla was a 3,283-acre (13.29 km2) Mexican land grant in the southwestern San Rafael Hills, in present day Los Angeles County, California, given to Juan Ballesteros in 1831 by Governor Manuel Victoria.[1]

It included present day Lincoln Heights, City Terrace, El Sereno and portions of South Pasadena, Alhambra, and Monterey Park.[2] After California statehood, the land grant failed to receive confirmation from the U.S. Public Land Commission.


"Rancho Rosa de Castilla" was named for the abundant amount of native Wood roses (Rosa californica) along the creek. The Tongva Indians named this area, Otsunga (Place of Roses). When Spanish Franciscans founded the San Gabriel Mission in 1771, they dubbed the small river El Rio Rosa de Castillo. In 1831, the land was granted to prominent Californio Juan Ballesteros, the Register of the Pueblo of Los Angeles from 1823 to 1824. The rancho was christened Rancho Rosa de Castilla. [3]

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 Rosa Castilla was filed with the Public Land Commission by Anacleto Lestrade, a priest at the San Gabriel Mission, in 1852, but the Rosa de Castilla grant failed to receive confirmation from the Land Commission.[4] The Board of Land Commissioners rejected the claim because: (a.) of unclear boundaries; and (b.) that the original grantee, Juan Ballesteros, had not occupied the land continuously as required.[5]

In 1852, the title passed to Jean-Baptiste Batz and his wife, Catalina. A Basque emigre, Batz used the land for farming and intensive sheep ranching. In 1882, after both Jean-Baptiste and Catalina died, the land was divided among six of their children. [6][7]

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. ^ Map of Rancho Rosa de Castilla
  3. ^ J. N. Bowman, The Rose of Castile, Western Folklore, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Jul., 1947), pp. 204–210, Western States Folklore Society
  4. ^ Hubert Howe Bancroft, 1886, History of California, The History Co., San Francisco
  5. ^ Southern District, Land Case 309 SD
  6. ^ John R. Chávez, 1998, Eastside Landmark:A History of the East Los Angeles Community Union, 1968-1993, ISBN 978-0-8047-3333-5, Stanford University Press
  7. ^ Sustainable Cities and Industrial Ecology in El Sereno

Coordinates: 34°05′24″N 118°12′00″W / 34.090°N 118.200°W / 34.090; -118.200