Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mexican Land Grants

It was the year 1840, and today was a great day in the lives of the Borondas. They were on their way to occupy their land grant from Governor Alvarado, the 6,625-acre Los Laureles.

The only dwellings along their route were occasional shacks in the
Indian Rancherías. Dispersed by the secularization of the mission, many of the Indians had suffered great hardship and few had been able to keep their allotments of mission property. Men like José Antonio Romero,the first of the Carmel mission's civil administrators, were ambitious and more than ready to exploit the Indians. Romero had also tried to get Los Laureles for himself a few years earlier, but Governor Alvarado had given the land to Boronda, son of the retired corporal.

There had been other land grants bestowed in the Carmel Valley. In 1839 the 4,367-acre Rancho Cañada de la Segunda, through which the Borondas were passing, had been granted to Lazaro Soto. And mounting the wild reaches of the Santa Lucias to the southeast was the 4,307 acre Rancho Potrero de San Carlos, granted to Fructuoso del Real in 1837, as well as the 8,814-acre San Francisquito, given in 1835 to Doña Catalina Manzanelli de Munrás. But none of the grantees had chosen to occupy their land.

At the eastern end of the valley, beyond Los Laureles, Rafael Gomez had built a two-story adobe on the Rancho Los Tularcitos, granted him by Governor Figueroa in 1834.

Source: “Monterey County The Dramatic Story of Its Past
Monterey Bay, Big Sur, Carmel, Salinas Valley”
, by Agusta Fink, 1972.
Western Tanager Press/Valley Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Copyright 1972.

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