|Did the Sepulveda Family get the land they developed?
The Dominguezs gave up the struggle with the Sepulveda family by 1835. However, Machado and the Sepulveda sons did not obtain proper title to the Rancho until June 3, 1846, when it was signed by Governor Pio Pico. In the agreement, Manuel Gutierrez was to be permitted to pasture his cattle on the rancho for the remainder of his life, but he was not to have any rights to ownership.
An interesting note, the governor signed the land grant on July 3, 1846. On July 6, 1846, the Armed Forces of the United States invaded California. So all land grants signed after July 6, 1846 were held invalid. There was some question of the legality of Rancho De Los Palos Verdes. Both, the Board of Land Commissioners and the US District Court accepted the documents, and Rancho Los Palos Verdes was confirmed to the Sepulvedas.
Photo credit: United States Government Records
Diseno of Rancho Los Palos Verdes submitted with petition for Mexican land grant
On the copy of the Palos Verdes diseno, see if you can find the Potrero de la Cueava (Pasture of the Cave) and Relis del Codo (Landslide Corner) which are not far from present day Point Vincente. Notice the scale used on the diseno, varas. 5,000 varas was equal to one league, or 2.6 miles. The distance from the "C" in Case de Machado to "o" in Machado is 5,000 varas. Notice that there were a number of water holes, aguajes, scattered through the foothills. Also notice the large Laguna (at the bottom of the sketch) which was known then as Machado Lake, now it is called Harbor Lake. Locate Arrollo (arroyo) de Tabano, which is now Palos Verdes Golf Course. Concha Nueva and Concha Bieja are the Main Channel and the East Basin of the Los Angeles Harbor. Also notice Puerta de San Pedro, the Port of San Pedro or the Port of Los Angeles as it is called today. Camino al Pueblo is the road to Los Angeles. Camino Para El Rancho De Dominguez is the road to Rancho San Pedro or the Dominguez family.
At the time of the request, several merchants of Los Angeles requested a government reserve of 500 varas, or a of a mile to be set aside for the San Pedro landing. The reserve is now the site of Fort Mac Arthur, which is not indicated on the diseno. The area is thought to be the small buildings near the port