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Rancho Santa Teresa

Coordinates: 37°15′00″N 121°48′36″W / 37.250°N 121.810°W / 37.250; -121.810
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rancho Santa Teresa was a 9,647-acre (39.04 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Santa Clara County, California given in 1834 by Governor José Figueroa to José Joaquín Bernal.[1] The grant extended west from Coyote Creek to the Santa Teresa Hills, and included present-day Santa Teresa.[2][3][4]


Don Bruno Bernal ran Rancho Santa Teresa after the death of José Joaquín Bernal, his father.

José Joaquín Bernal (1762–1837), a member of the 1776 De Anza Expedition, was a soldier at the Presidio of San Francisco and by 1805 at the Pueblo of San José. In 1819 he retired from the army, and in 1826 he settled his family of eleven children near Santa Teresa spring, ten miles south of San Jose.

In 1837, Jose Joaquin Bernal died, leaving an estate to be divided equally among his widow and his ten children. Four of his children were granted Rancho Valle de San Jose in 1839. In 1844, the Treaty of Santa Teresa was signed at the rancho by Governor Micheltorena and former Governor Alvarado.[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 was filed by Agustín Bernal, son of José Joaquín Bernal, with the Public Land Commission in 1853. The grant was one square league, and 4,460 acres (18 km2) was confirmed by the U.S. District Court.[6][7] But the 1867 official survey and patent to Agustín Bernal in 1867 was for 9,647 acres (39 km2).[8]

In 1855, another of José Joaquín Bernal's sons, Bruno Bernal (1799–1863) moved to his Rancho El Alisal, leaving the ranch to his sons Ygnacio (1841–1906), Francisco and Antonio.

Historic sites of the Rancho[edit]

  • Rancho Santa Teresa Historic District/Santa Teresa County Park.[9]
  • Bernal Adobe Site.[10][11]
  • Santa Teresa Spring. Ygnacio Bernal's son, Pedro, established the Santa Teresa Springs Water Company around 1910.
  • Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch/Santa Teresa County Park. The ranch was passed down through descendants of Jose Joaquin Bernal. In 1858, Carlos Maria Gulnac, son of William Gulnac, married Joaquin's granddaughter (Ygnacio's sister) Rufina Bernal. Their daughter, Susan Gulnac, married Patrick Joice. The Joice family ran the ranch until it was sold to IBM in 1980.


  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 Teresa
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho Santa Teresa
  4. ^ Early Santa Clara Ranchos, Grants, Patents and Maps
  5. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9.
  6. ^ United States. District Court (California : Northern District) Land Case 181 ND
  7. ^ Finding Aid to the Documents Pertaining to the Adjudication of Private Land Claims in California, circa 1852-1892
  8. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886 Archived 2009-05-04 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ Santa Clara County Parks - Santa Teresa County Park
  10. ^ Bernal Adobe Site and Bear Tree Lot
  11. ^ Remains of the J.P. Bernal adobe

37°15′00″N 121°48′36″W / 37.250°N 121.810°W / 37.250; -121.810