Rancho San Justo

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Rancho San Justo was a 34,620-acre (140.1 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day San Benito County, California given in 1839 by Governor Juan B. Alvarado to José Antonio Castro.[1] The lands of the rancho include current day Hollister.[2]


General José Castro was granted Rancho San Justo, one of three ranches attached to Mission San Juan Bautista, by the Mexican government.[3] José Castro was the son of José Tiburcio Castro, administrator of the secularized Mission San Juan Bautista, and grantee of Rancho Sausal.

Francisco Perez Pacheco, grantee of Rancho Ausaymas y San Felipe in 1833, bought the rancho from Castro in 1850.[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 San Justo was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852,[6] and the grant was patented to Francisco Perez Pacheco in 1859.[7]

In 1855 Flint, Bixby & Co bought the Rancho San Justo from Francisco Perez Pacheco with the understanding that William Welles Hollister would buy a one-half interest in the ranch in 1857. Rancho San Justo was held in joint custody for three years, until the property was divided in 1861. Flint and Hollister dissolved their partnership, with Flint taking all the land east of the San Benito River, and Hollister the land west of the river. Later, Hollister and Flint traded holdings, with Hollister taking the land east of the San Benito River, and Flint taking the land lying to the west, including the San Juan Valley. In 1868, Colonel Hollister sold his 20,773 acres (84.07 km2) of the Rancho San Justo to the San Justo Homestead Association.[8]

Historic sites of the Rancho[edit]

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. ^ "Plat of the "Rancho San Justo" [Calif.] : finally confirmed to Francisco Perez Pacheco / surveyed under instructions from the U.S. Surveyor General by J.E. Terrell, Depy. Sur., July 1859". 
  3. ^ Marjorie Pierce, 1981, East of the Gabilans, Western Tanager Press, ISBN 978-0-934136-11-2
  4. ^ Brief History of San Benito County
  5. ^ Deed of sale from José Castro to Francisco Pacheco for Rancho San Justo
  6. ^ "Finding Aid to the Documents Pertaining to the Adjudication of Private Land Claims in California, circa 1852-1892". 
  7. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
  8. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9. 
  9. ^ History of St. Francis Retreat San Justo Rancho

Coordinates: 36°51′36″N 121°24′36″W / 36.860°N 121.410°W / 36.860; -121.410