The CaliforniosThe Californio era ranged from 1769, when Spanish permanent residence was established in California, to 1846, when the region became part of the United States of America. Great cattle ranches were defined by land grants, given to influential colonists, and worked by Spanish vaqueros and indigenous natives.

Meanwhile Franciscan padres established 21 missions along the Camino Real, the Royal Road reaching northward from Mexico; the final mission was established in our valley in 1823, just as Mexico was gaining its independence from Spain and the church began losing its authority.

Three men were awarded land grants that began colonization of the Valley of the Moon:
Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo
Lázaro Piña
John Wilson