Part 6: Casa Remnants and Rancho Towns

Casa Remnants


William Wolfskill passed the point [of Hoyt Hill] in 1831 and saw adobe ruins. The ruins [in 1870] were not very different when he first saw it. 20

Wm. W Hoyt...on a high spur of the hills just above the present junction of Alameda [Hewes] and Santiago Boulevards, built a ten-room house. It is on the site of the Grijalva Adobe, built about the year 1800. When the Hoyts built their home in 1888 the lava rock that formed the foundation of the adobe was still in place and was used around the new dwelling. Pieces of rusty iron, spurs, bits, etc. have been found around the site of the first house in Orange County outside the mission village of San Juan Capistrano. 21

"I was born on Hoyt Hill [in 1889], near where the house still stands. I don't remember them [the adobe ruins], but they were there. It was supposed to be the first house in Orange County. There were terraces. They don't show...[but]...they were made from the stone that was in the [adobe] house and they used the stone to build up the terraces against the driveway. [But the adobe was there]...because the ruins were there...when father bought the property. I guess they were put together with adobe. They filled the walls with the stones and used the adobe for binding." 22

In 1992, Eddie Grijalva went home. Not to his, or his fathers - not even his grandfathers. He went home to 200 years ago, that of Juan Pablo Grijalva. Near the Hoyt Victorian, a rock wall helps to shore up a driveway. A neighbor points to a three car garage and states the adobe was there, about 35 years ago. The owner of the house gave one of the old stones from the wall to Eddie, who donated it to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. A piece of the old casa of Juan Pablo Grijalva is now home - resting in the Bowers Museum. 23

Rancho Towns


The Peralta Hills are named for Juan Pablo Peralta - the grandson and namesake of Juan Pablo Grijalva - the original Ranchero of the Rancho de Santiago de Santa Ana. North of the hills by the Santa Ana River is Santa Ana Arriba, (Upper Santa Ana) the townsite and adobe of the Peraltas. 24

Southward near the vicinity of the Portola crossing of the Santa Ana river, is Santa Ana Viejo, (Old Santa Ana) the main town of the area. The name Santa Ana stayed with the river and this place: there is California State Historical Marker #204 near Lincoln and Orange-Olive road. Later, in the early 1800s, a town started up on the site, called Santa Ana. It grew to the point of having a general store and a mayor, but faded away prior to 1850. 25

The settlement of Santa Ana is mentioned in 1846-47 (Emory), and the name Santa Ana Viejo shows on maps after that time. The modern city of Santa Ana, at its present site south of Santiago Creek, was not founded until 1869. 24

The river is now west of the old river bed - floods have changed the course several times. Santa Ana Viejo was a real town, essentially started by the Yorba family. The Yorba hacienda site overlooks the location of the old town. One Yorba casa sat on the hill where the old Olive grade school is now on Orange-Olive Road, past Lincoln. 25

Near Chapman Avenue on the Santa Ana river was Santa Ana Abajo (Lower Santa Ana), an extension of the town to the north. Also here was (and still is) a favored crossing of the Santa Ana River, El Camino Real the forerunner of Highway 101, now the Santa Ana Freeway, I-5. South of here is the junction with Santiago Creek and the site of El Refugio (the Refuge), one of the earliest haciendas. 25