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among its numerous farmers several of them, notably the Scotch sailor, John Gilroy, who in 1814 became the first foreigner permanently to settle in California, and Thomas W. Doak, who arrived two years later, the first American settler. North of San José and the adjoining Santa Clara mission, where Padre Real holds out manfully against claimants, are several settlers clustering round the present Alviso. Westward Rafael Soto has established a landing at San Francisquito Creek, and Whisman has located himself a dozen miles below.4
Along the eastern slope of the peninsula leads a well-worn road past scattered ranchos, among which are those of John Cooper on San Mateo Creek, and John Coppinger on Cañada de Raimundo; and near by are Dennis Martin and Charles Brown, the latter having just erected a saw-mill."
San Francisco, at the end of the peninsula, however · ill-favored the site in some respects, seems topographically marked for greatness, rising on a series of hills, with a great harbor on one side, a great ocean on the other, and mighty waters ever passing by to the outlet of the wide-spread river system of the country. It is already in many respects the most thriving town in California, the prospective metropolis of the coast, with 200 buildings and 800 inhabitants, governed by Alcalde
1 The town bearing his name, in the southern part of the valley, is situated on his former rancho. Other early settlers were Mat. Fellom, Harry Bee, John Burton, J. A. Forbes, J. W. Weeks, and Wm Gulnac, who in 1842 joined Weber in erecting a flour-mill.
2 Brannan & Co. had a tannery at this place.
3 Including the families of Alviso, Berreyesa, Valencia, John Martin, and Leo Norris, the latter an American, on Cherro rancho.
*Near the present Mountain View. J. W. Whisman was in 1848 joined by I. Whisman. J. Coppinger lived for a time on Soto's rancho, married to his daughter. S. Robles had bought Santa Rita rancho from J. Peña.
5 Called Mountain Home. The last two had settled near the present Woodside. G. F. Wyman and James Peace were also in the same vicinity, the latter as lumberer. The leading grants were Las Pulgas of Luis Argüello, 35,000 acres; San Gregorio of A. Buelna, 18,000 acres; Buri Buri of I. Sanchez, 14,600 acres; Cañada de Raimundo of J. Coppinger, 12,500 acres; Cañada del Corte de Madera of M. Martinez, 13,000 acres. Other grants, ranging from 9,000 to 4,000 acres, were San Pedro, Corral de Tierra, Félix, Miramontes, Cañada Verde, San Antonio, Butano, and Punta del Año Nuevo, following southward.
George Hyde and a sapient council. The population is chiefly composed of enterprising Americans, sturdy pioneers, with a due admixture of backwoodsmen and seafarers, numerous artisans, and a sprinkling of traders and professional men—all stanch townsmen, figuring for beach lots at prices ranging as high as $600, and for local offices. There are rival districts struggling for supremacy, and two zealous weekly newspapers.
Less imposing are the immediate surroundings; for the town spreads out in a straggling crescent along the slope of the Clay-street hill, bordered by the converging inclines of Broadway and California streets on the north and south respectively. A thin coating of grass and melancholy shrubs covers the sandy surface between and around, with here and there patches of dwarfed oaks, old and decrepit, bending before the sweeping west wind. The monotony incident to Spanish and Mexican towns, however, with their low and bare adobe houses and sluggish population, is here relieved by the large proportion of compact wooden buildings in northern European style, and the greater activity of the dwellers. The beach, hollowed by the shallow Yerba Buena Cove, on which fronts the present Montgomery street, presents quite an animated scene for these sleepy shores, with its bales of merchandise strewn about, and piled-up boxes and barrels, its bustling or lounging frequenters, and its three projecting wharves;? while a short distance off lie scattered a few craft, including one or two ocean-going vessels. Farther away, fringed by the fading hills of Contra Costa, rises the isle of Yerba Buena, for which some wild goats shortly provide the new name of Goat Island. On its eastern side is a half-ruined ranchería, still braving the encroachments of time and culture.
6 There were 160 frame buildings and only 35 adobe houses, although the latter were more conspicuous by their length and brightness.
'At California, Clay, and Broadway streets.
In the rear of the town, which extends only between California and Vallejo streets to Powell on the west, from the direction of the Lone Mountain and beyond, comes a spur of the Coast Range, tipped by the Papas Peaks. To either side diverges a trail, one toward the inlet of the bay, where is the presidio enclosure, with its low adobe buildings, and to which the new American occupants have added frame houses, and earthworks with ordnance superior to the blatant muzzles of yore. Two miles to the south, beyond the sand hills, lies Mission Dolores, its dilapidated walls marked by darkened tile roofs, scantily relieved by clumps of trees and shrubs. The cheerless stone fences now enclose winter's verdure, and beyond the eddying creek, which flows through the adjoining fields, the sandy waste expands into inviting pasture, partly covered by the Rincon farm and government reserve.8
The opposite shores of the bay present a most beautiful park-like expanse, the native lawn, brilliant with flowers, and dotted by eastward-bending oaks, watered by the creeks of Alameda, San Lorenzo, San Leandro, and their tributaries, and enclosed by the spurs of the Diablo mountains. It had early attracted settlers, whose grants now cover the entire ground. The first to occupy there was the Mission San José, famed for its orchards and vineyards, and now counting among its tenants and settlers James F. Reed, Perry Morrison, Earl Marshall, and John M. Horner.10 Below are the ranchos of Agua Caliente and Los Tularcitos; and above, Potrero de los Cerritos; 11 while behind, among encircling hills, is the valley of San José, the pathway to the Sacramento, and through which runs
8 Padre P. Santillan, who afterward became conspicuous as a claimant to the mission ground, was in charge at Dolores. The Rancho Punta de Lobos of B. Diaz extended to the north-west.
• In charge of Padre Real. The claim of Alvarado and Pico to the soil was later rejected.
10 The latter a Mormon, living with his wife at the present Washington Corners, and subsequently prominent.
11 The former two square leagues in extent, and transferred by A. Suñol to F. Higuera; the latter three leagues, and held by A. Alviso and T. Pacheco.
the upper Alameda. Here lives the venturesome English sailor, Robert Livermore, by whose name the nook is becoming known, and whose rapidly increasing possessions embrace stock-ranges, wheat-fields, vineyards, and orchards, with even a rude grist-mill.12 Adjoining him are the ranchos Valle de San José of J. and A. Bernal, and Suñol and San Ramon of J. M. Amador, also known by his name. Northward, along the bay, lies the Rancho Arroyo de la Alameda of José Jesus Vallejo; the San Lorenzo of G. Castro and F. Soto; the San Leandro of J. J. Estudillo; the Sobrante of J. I. Castro; and in the hills and along the shore, covering the present Oakland and Alameda, the San Antonio of Luis M. Peralta and his sons. 13
Similar to the Alameda Valley, and formed by the rear of the same range, enclosing the towering Monte del Diablo, lies the vale of Contra Costa, watered by several creeks, among them the San Pablo and San Ramon, or Walnut, and extending into the marshes of the San Joaquin. Here also the most desirable tracts are covered by grants, notably the San Pablo tract of F. Castro; El Pinole of Ignacio Martinez, with vineyards and orchards; the Acalanes of C. Valencia, on which are now settled Elam Brown, justice of the peace, and Nat. Jones ;14 the Palos Colorados of J. Moraga; the Monte del Diablo of S. Pacheco; the Médanos belonging to the Mesa family; and the Méganos of Dr John Marsh, the said doctor being a kind of crank from Harvard college,
12 His neighbor on Rancho Los Pozitos, of two square leagues, was José Noriega; and west and south in the valley extended Rancho Valle de San José, 48,000 acres, Santa Rita, 9,000 acres, belonging to J. D. Pacheco, the San Ramon rancho of Amador, four square leagues, and Cañada de los Vaqueros of Livermore. Both Colton, Three Years, 266, and Taylor, El Dorado, i. 73, refer to the spot as Livermore Pass, leading from San José town to the valley of the Sacramento.
13 D. Peralta received the Berkeley part, V. the Oakland, M. the East Oak. land and Alameda, and I. the south-east. The grant covered five leagues. The extent of the Alameda, San Lorenzo, and San Leandro grants was in square leagues respectively about four, seven, and one; Sobrante was eleven leagues.
By purchase in 1847, the latter owning one tenth of the three-quarter league.