Part 1: Introduction

Painting of ranchers on horses

For the Record


Don Juan Pablo Grijalva, soldier, settler, rancher and pioneer - came to California with the Anza expedition in 1775. At that time there were only five missions, two presidios & a single rancho of some 120 square yards (140 varas).
Grijalva's heritage dates to the time of Cortez and his legacy includes the only Spanish Rancho in Orange County.

"Juan Pablo Grijalva, Alfaréz (second-lieutenant) at the San Diego Presidio, retired from active duty at age 54 in 1796. [He] petitioned for...Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana...in 1801. Grijalva received concession documents in 1802 [and] died in 1806." 1

"Grijalva created the first rancho in what became Orange County," 2 [and was] "a founding father of Orange County." 3 "He was kind of the Pioneer's pioneer [and] was the first to stake a private claim in Orange County." 4 [In fact] "the first adobe building in Orange County, outside the limits of Mission San Juan Capistrano, was erected by the grantee* of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, Juan Pablo Grijalva about the year 1800." 5 "The historical traditions of Orange County begin with the San Juan Capistrano Mission and Juan Pablo Grijalva." 3 Unlike most soldiers, he was held in high regard: "Lieutenant Grijalva...fills his post with honor and stands in high repute." 6

The final quote is by Padre Presidente Fermin Francisco de Lasuen. Lasuen founded nine missions, the last of which took away Grijalva's first rancho at Las Flores.

*In actuality, grants were given only in the Mexican period; this was a concession.