Spanish/Mexican Time Period

A City Evolves: The Vaqueros


By the early 1800’s Southern California was a Spanish controlled territory with a system of Catholic Missions serving as government bases. After gaining control of the state, the Mexican government divided it into vast land grants that were awarded to soldiers and individuals loyal to the Mexican government. Santa Fe Springs was part of the extensive Manuel Nieto land grant, which extended from Whittier to Fountain Valley. At that time, Mission San Juan Capistrano had an immense cattle operation based here in Santa Fe Springs. Their foreman or mayordomo, Patricio Ontiveros, maintained a home and cowhide operation on the land which is now Heritage Park. The remains of his early 19th century adobe home can be seen next to the Carriage Barn.