The Earthen Corral

Festive rodeos lasting several days were commonplace around Miramar in the 1840s. Accompanied by much merry-making and feasting, the round-ups included scores of “rancheros”, or owners, and their cowboys or “vaqueros.”

These exciting occasions were highlighted with spirited competition among the vaqueros to excel in horsemanship and use of the lasso.

Cattle chosen for later slaughter were lassoed by the vaqueros; thrown down and burned with owner’s hot brand. Otherwise the wild animals were released and allowed the roam another year on the Corral de Tierra.

The Corral de Tierra [encompassing the present day communities of Montara, Moss Beach, Princeton, El Granada, Miramar, stretching to Pilarcitos Creek in Half Moon Bay] means earth corral. It was so named because the surrounding geographical features form a natural enclosure for cattle.

Up until 1840 Mission Dolores used the land for grazing. The Coastside was isolated territory, cut off from civilization by mountainous barriers, and the hills concealed a considerable population of mountain lions and grizzly bears.