Rancho de las Pulgas

The source for each paragraph below is in the footnotes. There are some inconsistencies between the various sources.

1790s. José Darió Argüello, comandante of the Presidio de San Francisco, arbitrarily moved his cattle onto land in the vicinity of today’s RWC and Belmont without permission of church authorities. Arguello’s descendants claimed Governor Diego Borica granted Rancho de las Pulgas to Arguello in 1795 and reaffirmed by Governor Pablo Vicente Sola in 1821. The land was unclaimed and referred to as rancho de rey (grazing place for government livestock). Soon thereafter Argüello’s son, Luis, began occupying the land.[1]

Diego de Borica was the seventh governor of Las Californias from 1794-1800.[2]

José Darió Argüello was comandante of the garrison in Santa Barbara from 1787 to 1791 and again from 1796 to 1814 [see next paragraph]. When the governor based in San Francisco died, José Darió was made acting governor of Alta California, but continued to live in Santa Barbara filling both positions until appointed governor of Baja California in 1815.[3]

José Dario Arguello (1753-1828) was comandante of San Francisco Presidio (1787-1791 and 1796-1806). He was comandante of the presidial company of Monterey (1791-1796). Also he was comandante of the Presidio of Santa Barbara (1807-1815). Upon death of Governor Arillaga in 1814, he became acting Governor of Alta California, but continued to live in Santa Barbara. In 1815 he became governor of Baja California (1815-1822) and moved there with his family, dying at age 75 in Guadalajara.[4]

Second grant allegedly by Governor Pablo de Sola to José Darió’s son Luis Antonio Argüello. Apparently residency not required by the Spanish grants. Luis began to run cattle on the land about 1823, while he was Governor of California, thus occupying it in accepted Mexican manner.[5]

Pablo Vicente de Solá (1761-1826) was the last governor of Spanish Alta California (1815-1822).[6]

Luis Antonio Argüello (1784-1830) was born in Yerba Buena to José Darió Argüello and Maria Ygnacia Moraga. He was the first Californio (native born) governor of Alta California, serving 1822-1825 during Mexican rule of Alta California. Luis Antonio Argüello and his second wife, Maria Soledad Ortega de Argüello, inherited his parents 35,240 Spanish land grant of 1795 named Rancho de las Pulgas. Luis never lived there, but his widow and children settled there after his death.[7]

Mariá Soledad Ortega de Argüello (1797-1874), heir to Rancho de las Pulgas.[8]

1835. Governor José Castro signed a decree granting the Argüellos 4 square leagues (about 17,500 acres), with north-south width specified as 1 league and south boundry defined as La Cañada de Raymundo, north boundary as SF Bay.[9]

U.S. Land Commission, set up in 1851 to rule on all titles, upheld Argüello claim in 1853.[9]

Board of Land Commissioners, the U.S. District Court, and the U.S. Supreme Court each confirmed the 1835 grant of 17,500 acres and 1-league width.[9]

1854. Rancho Cañada de Raymundo claim declared valid, confirmed by U.S. District Court in 1856, no conflict with any other rancho, northern boundary 1 league from Bay.[9]

1856. Survey prior to final patent declaration located the boundary 3 leagues from Bay. Possibility of corruption in this finding.[9]

1856. New County of San Mateo formed mostly from San Francisco and a little from Santa Clara counties.

1857. Survey received by U.S. General Land Office. President Buchanan issued to widow Argüello a patent to Rancho de las Pulgas for 35,240 acres.[9]

Rancho de las Pulgas patent recorded in San Mateo County’s Book of Patents, Vol. 1, #1.[10]

[1] Dorothy Regnery, The History of Jasper Ridge: From Searsville Pioneers to Stanford Scientists (1961), p. 22.

[2] Diego de Borica, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diego_de_Borica .

[3] Barrie Fairley, The Hill (2012), p. 10.

[4] José Dario Arguello, The California State Millitary Museum, http://www.militarymuseum.org/Arguello.html .

[5] John Cheese, Tales of Old Menlo: From Rancho to Town  (no date), p. 5.

[6] Pablo Vicente de Solá, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Vicente_de_Solá .

[7] Luis Anatonio Argüello, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luis_Antonio_Argüello .

[8] Mariá Soledad Ortega de Argüello, Wikepedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar%C3%ADa_Soledad_Ortega_de_Argüello .

[9] Regnery, op. cit., p. 23.

[10] Cleese, op. cit., p. 7.

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