Rancho de los Palos Verdes

Coordinates: 33°46′48″N 118°20′17″W / 33.780°N 118.3380°W / 33.780; -118.3380
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In 1846, Rancho de los Palos Verdes was separated from Rancho San Pedro and granted to José Loreto Sepúlveda (shown) and Juan Capistrano Sepúlveda.

Rancho de los Palos Verdes was a 31,629-acre (128.00 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Los Angeles County, California given in 1846 by Governor Pío Pico to José Loreto and Juan Capistrano Sepulveda.[1] The name means "ranch of the green trees". The grant encompassed the present-day cities of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, as well as portions of San Pedro and Torrance.[2]


Manuel Domínguez, a signer of the Californian Constitution and owner of Rancho San Pedro, which included all of Palos Verdes.

The grant was originally a part of Manuel Dominguez's Rancho San Pedro Spanish land grant. Around 1810 Manuel Guttierez, executor of Dominguez's will and de facto owner of his rancho, granted permission to then 17-year-old Jose Dolores Sepulveda to herd livestock in the southwestern reaches of the Rancho San Pedro. This eventually became the basis for the Sepulveda family's contested claim to the Rancho de los Palos Verdes. Dolores had trouble getting his land title cleared, so he took a trip to Monterey to get the matter definitely settled and, on his return trip, he was killed in the Chumash revolt at Mission La Purísima Concepción in 1824. In 1834, a judicial decree was made by Governor Jose Figueroa which was intended to settle the dispute between the Dominquez and Sepulveda families.[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 de los Palos Verdes was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852,[4][5] and the grant was patented to José Loreto and Juan Capistrano Sepulveda in 1880.[6]

The old roof tree which marks the site of the original Palos Verdes ranch house (1926)

By 1882 ownership of the land had passed from the Sepulveda through various mortgage holders to Jotham Bixby of Rancho Los Cerritos, who leased the land to Japanese farmers.[7] After the turn of the century most of Bixby's land was sold to a consortium of New York investors spearheaded by Frank A. Vanderlip that created The Palos Verdes Project and began marketing land on the peninsula for small horse ranches and residential communities.

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. ^ Diseño del Rancho de los Palos Verdes
  3. ^ The Rancho San Pedro Collection Archived 2010-06-18 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 93 SD
  5. ^ Finding Aid to the Documents Pertaining to the Adjudication of Private Land Claims in California, circa 1852-1892
  6. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886 Archived 2009-05-04 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Meares, Hadley (June 18, 2015). "The Colonists: The Many Cultures That Have Called Palos Verdes Peninsula Home". KCET. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  8. ^ Home of Jose Dolores Sepulveda (No. 383)

External links[edit]

33°46′48″N 118°20′17″W / 33.780°N 118.3380°W / 33.780; -118.3380