Following Juan Jose’s death, the Dominguez family had to constantly fight off legal challenges to their ownership of the Rancho.
A complex arrangement with the Sepulveda family allowed them to claim a large portion of the property; after several court decisions and appeals, over 31,000 acres of Palos Verdes land was awarded to the Sepulvedas in 1846. government granted the Dominguez family a patent for the land, establishing them as owners of the Rancho San Pedro under United States law.
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The materials in the Rancho San Pedro Collection arrived in two major accessions.
By 1858, following further land sales and purchases, the size of the Rancho San Pedro was approximately 26,000 acres. Rancho San Pedro land, as described by the patent, was bounded by the modern-day cities of Long Beach, Wilmington, Compton, and Redondo Beach.
Juan Jose Dominguez built a home and herded cattle on the property until his death in 1809.
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Of over seventy Spanish and Mexican land grants, the Rancho San Pedro was the first to be granted a clear patent by the United States government.
In its original form, the grant given to Juan Jose Dominguez comprised over 75,000 acres, extending from San Pedro Harbor to the Palos Verdes Peninsula, then eastward as far as modern-day Lynwood.
Abstract: This collection contains legal and business papers related to the Rancho San Pedro and to its owners, the Dominguez family.
The Spanish crown gave the Southern California lands of the Rancho San Pedro to Juan Jose Dominguez in 1784, and in 1858 the United States government granted a patent confirming Dominguez family ownership of the Rancho.