Rancho Santa Rita (Pacheco)

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Rancho Santa Rita was a 8,894-acre (35.99 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Alameda County, California given in 1839 by Governor Juan Alvarado to Jose Dolores Pacheco.[1] The rancho included present day Pleasanton.[2][3]


Extending east from Foothill Road, with the Rancho San Ramon grant on the north and the Rancho Valle de San Jose grant on the south, Rancho Santa Rita was given to San Jose alcalde Jose Dolores Pacheco. Pacheco was an absentee landowner. In 1844, his majordomo (ranch manager), Francisco Solano Alviso, probably built the little adobe that stands on Foothill Road overlooking the valley.

A claim for Rancho Santa Rita was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852 and grant was patented to John Yountz, administrator of the estate of José Dolores Pacheco in 1865.[4][5][6]

In 1853, Rancho Santa Rita was sold to Augustin Alviso, grantee of Rancho Potrero de los Cerritos, by the heirs of Jose Delores Pacheco - Juana Pacheco and Salvio Pacheco. In 1854, Samuel B. Martin and West J. Martin purchased Rancho Santa Rita. They sold the ranch in 1865, and moved to Oakland.[7]

In 1865 William M. Mendenhall came to the valley, and in 1868 purchased 650 acres (2.6 km2) of the Rancho Santa Rita grant. During the period of the railroad boom in the late 1860s, Rancho Santa Rita was sub divided into fifteen farms. The farms were "small" tracts of about 300 acres (1.2 km2) to 3,750 acres (15.2 km2). The larger land owners consisted of J.W. Dougherty, 750 acres (3.0 km2); Abdijah Baker, 2,078 acres (8.4 km2); and William Knox, 360 acres (1.5 km2). In 1869 J.W. Kottinger and J.A. Neal each laid out and plotted a subdivision for a new town called Alisal, situated about five miles south of Dublin. By 1878 the village was an unincorporated town of about 500 people. Like Livermore, Pleasanton attained its size and importance with coming of the Union Pacific Railroad.

In the early 1880s, Count Valensin purchased 140 acres (0.6 km2), Maas Suders purchased a strip of land from the Mendenhall's 650 acres (2.6 km2), and Samuel Hewlett purchased 1,600 acres (6.5 km2). In 1894 the remainder of Rancho Santa Rita was offered for sale by Lagrance and Company of Oakland. In 1921 what was left of the Mexican grant was sold to Asa Mendenhall.[8][9]

Historic sites of the Rancho[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 Santa Rita
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho Santa Rita
  4. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886
  5. ^ United States. District Court (California : Northern District) Land Case 155 ND
  6. ^ Yontz v. United States, 64 U.S. 23 How. 495 495 (1859)
  7. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9. 
  8. ^ Rancho Santa Rita (from material by Don Morton from "Historical Sites & Landmarks of Alamenda County, California", edited by George Tays. 1952)
  9. ^ Mary-Jo Wainwright, 2007, Pleasanton, Arcadia Publishing, ISBN 978-0-7385-4761-9

Coordinates: 37°40′12″N 121°52′12″W / 37.670°N 121.870°W / 37.670; -121.870

External links[edit]