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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 often 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.

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