Francisco Casanueva, the Chilean businessman, divided the rancho into parcels sold to Americans including James Bell, Henry Wilkins nd Hugh Hamilton.
Hamilton is credited as an early American settler. He lived in a large frame house that once stood on the north bank of San Gregorio creek. An 1860 official survey map shows a fence belonging to him. It is also said tht when he arrived in San Gregorio he “saw tht the land was mixed-up,” perhaps implying that he knew title to property there was not clear.
James Bell– whose descendants went into the hotel business in San Gregorio–was a highly respected pioneer who had a post office called Bellvale named in his honor.
In the early 1860s Concepcion received her patent from the Land Commission in San Francisco–but it was too late as the land had changed into the hands of the Americans.
…To Be Continued….