Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rancho Boca de Santa Monica

Chuck and Jay in the Santa Monica Mountains

Post "Treaty Of Guadalupe Hidalgo" Santa Monica

The Mexican government granted the land that eventually became the City of Santa Monica in 1839 to three Mexican citizens. Francisco Marquez, Ysidro Reyes and Francisco Sepulveda were the grantees. This coastal land was given as two separate Mexican land grants: the 33,000-acre Rancho San Vicente (recognize that name?) that was granted to Francisco Sepulveda (recognize that name, too?), and Rancho Boca de Santa Monica grant. At just about 6,656 acres, this was given to Francisco Marquez and Ysidro Reyes. Marquez/Reyes began cattle ranching on the land, built adobe homes and raised their families. They owned the area called Santa Monica Canyon, and allowed people from the town of Los Angeles to camp there for free and enjoy the cooler, tree lined canyons. Today, the State Of California wants twenty bucks for campgrounds that still use the trails the Chumash Indians developed hundreds of years ago.
It's amazing how the land and it's uses have changed. From a modest and dusty steppe that was used for cattle grazing and support of a far-flung Mexican army to one of the wealthiest and most population dense parts of North America. When you are bombing through the Santa Monica Mountains and huffing up those long grades, take a second to look out and imagine what the "city" would have looked like then. You may actually have been able to SEE the city then. Except for the fire breaks, many of the trails we ride were cut from the cattle who grazed those canyons, the natives who inhabited them, and the Spanish and Mexican farmers who cooled off for a spell inside them.

Sullivan Canyon, in the Santa Monica's near Brentwood.

Backbone team fan John Caldwell trying to make the team selection for 2007.


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