Rancheros Sought Safety On The Coastside (1840s) Part III

< <img id="image1052" src="http://www.halfmoonbaymemories.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/09/miramontes.jpg" alt="miramontes.jpg" Photo: The Miramontes Family

"The rancheros felt safe but life did not go smoothly. While Miramontes, for example, maintained excellent relations with Vasquez and Guerrero, he had trouble with Jose Alivso, his neighbor to the south–the grantee to the Rancho Canada Verde y Arroyo de la Purisima.

Miramontes and Alviso were feuding over a narrow strip of land located between the two ranchos. Perhaps the problem could be traced to the original crude maps that were unclear.

Both men claimed it but only Alviso erected an adobe on the property.

There were angry confrontations and showdowns. Miramontes often complained that Alviso drove his men off whenever they came to work the land. Alviso made similar charges. [The disagreement was finally resolved when a court determined that the land belonged to Alviso].

Alviso may have triumphed in the battle over the land but the Miramontes family was prolific and had grown so large that visitors referred to their rancho in Half Moon Bay as the "Miramontes District".

One daughter, Carmelita, achieved local fame for her medical expertise as a midwife.

Some Americans squatted on the Miramontes rancho, firmly believing the US government would declare the land public domain–but there were others who became "legal" neighbors.

A portion of the Miramontes rancho had been sold to Ohio native James Johnston. Accompanied by his two brothers, the Johnstons heroically crossed the plains, mountains and deserts only to face the toughest obstacle of all.

The Johnston Brothers had no idea how they were going to drop down from the Santa Cruz Mountains into the beautiful Half Moon Bay Valley.

….To Be Continued…