Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rancho San Francisco

Los Angeles County, August 8, 1994

It was on this 48,600 acre plot of land that Francisco Lopez made the first major gold discovery in 1842. 48,600 acres, that’s nice diggings for a award for military service, and it went to Antonio de Valle back in 1839. Antonio needed help watching over the place and one of the people doing that was Francisco, who was de Valle’s second wife’s uncle.

Del Valle died in 1841, and though he tried, it was without reconciling with his estranged son Ygnacio. None the less, Ygnacio took control over the land. Following the war, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo allowed Mexican landowners to keep their lands, but Ygnacio was whittled down to 13,600 acres by 1857. Floods were followed by drought and by 1862 Ygnacio had sold most of his estate to oil speculators.

Plaque inscription: NO. 556 RANCHO SAN FRANCISCO - Approximately one-half mile south of the point was the adobe headquarters of Rancho San Francisco, originally built about 1804 as a granary of Mission San Fernando. The rancho was granted to Antonio de Valle in 1839. Here, in January 1850, William Lewis Manly and John Rogers obtained supplies and animals to rescue their comrades in a California-bound gold-seeking emigrant party that was stranded and starving in Death Valley, some 250 miles to the northeast.
Location: SW corner of 'The Old Road' and Henry Mayo Drive, 0.2 mi S of I-5 and State Hwy 126 interchange, Valencia
Google maps: 34.440257,-118.605866

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