Spanish era California
All of California for the most part was once divided into a Spanish
rancho. These large ranches were given in grants to the most connected
platonically of the individuals in the New World and specifically California.
The Spanish raised cattle and used their hides in trade with Americans
(see our “San Diego” web page for more).
Santa Monica was no different and the rancho was purchased by Nevada
Senator John Percival Jones. In 1895, he arrived here and was so impressed
with the ideal location and scenic beauty that he founded Santa Monica
and constructed the Miramar Mansion. Miramar means, “view of the
sea” in Spanish.
The Miramar hotel now sits on the same site, and
it still hosts a number of impressive views.