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Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela was a 2,219-acre (8.98 km2) Mexican land grant in present-day Los Angeles County, California given in 1837 to Ygnacio Machado.[1] The name means "Sentinel of Waters" in Spanish, and refers to the artesian water in the area exemplified by Centinela Springs. Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela included parts of present-day Westchester and Inglewood.[2][3]

Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela
Land grant of Mexico
Flag of Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela
Rancho historic marker at LAX Theme Building
 • TypeMexican land grant
• Established
• Disestablished
Today part ofUnited States


Rancho Ajuaje de la Centinela, was once part of the Rancho Sausal Redondo, and Ygnacio Machado had encroached on the land claimed by Antonio Avila, and was awarded provisional title to this land at the same time that Antonio Avila received his land grant for the balance of the Rancho Sausal Redondo in 1837. In 1845, Machado traded the rancho to Bruno Avila, brother of Antonio Avila, for a small tract in the Pueblo of Los Angeles.[4]

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 Aguaje de la Centinela was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852,[5] and the grant was patented to Bruno Avila in 1872.[6]

Bruno Avila, unable to repay his debts, lost his property through foreclosure in 1857. Subsequent to this, the Rancho Ajuaje de la Centinela changed hands a number of times. Robert Burnett acquired the Rancho Ajuaje de la Centinela from Joseph Lancaster Brent in 1860. In 1868, Burnett added the Rancho Sausal Redondo, joining the two ranchos again. Burnett returned to Scotland, and leased the 25,000 acres (101 km2) of the combined ranchos to Catherine Freeman (wife of Daniel Freeman) in 1873; with an agreement that she could eventually buy the ranchos outright. After Catherine's death in 1874, Daniel Freeman began the commercial development of the real estate. He became one of the directors of the Centinela Land Company, which started in 1874, with the purpose of developing commercially the Rancho Centinela. The venture failed, but Freeman was central in another undertaking, that of the Centinela-Inglewood Land Company in 1887 to develop what would be known as the town of Inglewood.[7]

Historic sites of the RanchoEdit


  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. ^ Map of old Spanish and Mexican ranchos in Los Angeles County
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela
  4. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9.
  5. ^ United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 125 S
  6. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886 Archived 2013-03-20 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Family History, Freeman Family Papers, CSLA-21". Loyola Marymount University. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Centinela Springs". California State Parks Office of Historic Preservation. Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  9. ^ Exterior view of an adobe at Rancho Aguaje de la Centinela, near Inglewood, ca.1930

External linksEdit