Rancho San Lucas was a 8,875-acre (35.92 km2) Mexican land grant in the Salinas Valley, in present-day Monterey County, California given in 1842 by Governor Juan B. Alvarado to Rafael Estrada.[2] The grant extended along the west bank of the Salinas River south of present-day San Lucas.[3][4]

Rancho San Lucas
Rancho San Lucas is located in California
Rancho San Lucas
Rancho San Lucas is located in the United States
Rancho San Lucas
Location1​34 mi. SW of jct. of Paris Valley Rd. and Rancho San Lucas entry rd., San Lucas, California
Coordinates36°2′34″N 121°0′27″W / 36.04278°N 121.00750°W / 36.04278; -121.00750Coordinates: 36°2′34″N 121°0′27″W / 36.04278°N 121.00750°W / 36.04278; -121.00750
Area3,600 acres (1,500 ha)
ArchitectTrescony, Catherine
Architectural styleTransverse adobe barn
NRHP reference #91000530[1]
Added to NRHPMay 06, 1991


José Rafael Estrada, son of José Raymundo Estrada and Josefa Maria Vallejo de Alvarado, received the grant of the San Lucas for two square leagues in 1842. Rafael Estrada was a half brother of Governor Juan Alvarado.[5]

Estrada sold Rancho San Lucas to James McKinley. Captain James McKinley, a Scottish sailor, arrived at Monterey in the 1820s and became a successful trader. In 1843, he was involved in a trading business partnership with Captain John Paty and Henry D. Fitch. He served as an agent for both Thomas O. Larkin and his half brother, Captain John B.R. Cooper. McKinley married Carmen Amesti, daughter of José Amesti, who was the grantee of Rancho Los Corralitos. McKinley was also the patentee of Rancho Moro y Cayucos.

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 San Lucas was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1853,[6] and the grant was patented to James McKinley in 1882.[7]

McKinley sold the Rancho San Lucas in 1862 to Alberto Trescony, during a drought that devastated California cattle ranches. Alberto Trescony (1814–1892), born in Italy, arrived in Monterey in 1842. A tin smith, he became wealthy enough manufacturing pans for California Gold Rush miners to begin investing in real estate.[8]

With the purchase of part of Rancho San Bernardo and all of Rancho San Benito, Alberto Trescony consolidated his San Lucas holdings into a ranch of about 20,000 acres (81 km2). Trescony also acquired Rancho Tularcitos. Drought in 1871–1872 killed large numbers of Trescony's sheep. In 1876, Trescony moved to Santa Cruz, and turned over the operation of the rancho to his son, Julius A. Trescony.[9]

At some point in the 1880s, Alberto Trescony moved back to Monterey County. He died in 1892 during a stay at a Salinas hotel, and is buried at a cemetery in San Lucas, for which he donated the land.[10] The estate was distributed to his three children: a one-third interest to his son Julius A. Trescony; a one-third interest to his daughter, the wife of Robert F. Johnson of El Paso, Texas; and a one-third interest to the two minor children (Anita Christal and her brother Leo Christal) of his deceased daughter, Rose, wife of J.F. Christal.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. March 13, 2009.
  2. ^ Ogden Hoffman, 1862, Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Numa Hubert, San Francisco
  3. ^ Diseño del Rancho San Lucas
  4. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho San Lucas
  5. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9.
  6. ^ United States. District Court (California : Southern District) Land Case 34 SD
  7. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844–1886 Archived 2009-05-04 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Alberto Trescony, Monterey County Historical Society
  9. ^ Julius Trescony,1978,An Heir to a Land Grant, University of California, Davis, Oral History Center
  10. ^ Alberto Trescony, Find a Grave
  11. ^ Anita Christal Purdy vs Robert F. Johnson and Julius A. Trescony, 1917, California Decisions By California Supreme Court, Volume 53 The Recorder, San Francisco