Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio land grant
Rancho Nuestra Senora del Refugio land grant encompasses the entire Gaviota Coast extending into the Santa Ynez Valley and includes the Zanja Cota, where the present day Santa Ynez Chumash Reservation sits.
The Rancho Nuestra Senora del Refugio Trust was created by the Ortega family to Preserve the legacy of their Historic Rancho Refugio.As the original stewards of our iconic ancestral lands, our vision is to inspire a collaborative effort with our community, local historians, and local conservationists to protect the factual history of the people and future of these sacred lands for generations to come. The Ortega family is proposing a joint effort to educate the community on the importance of not only protecting the land but uplifting the local indigenous population.
The Original Land Grant was awarded by the Catholic Church and the Spanish Crown in 1794 as an award of war for Jose Franciscos 40 years of service to the king of Spain. This land was formerly owned by the mission Santa Barbara. Upon Jose Franciscos Death in 1798 the rancho was passed to his Sons Jose Maria Ortega and his brother Jose Francisco Ortega. Upon the death of Jose Maria Ortega and Jose Francisco Maria, the rancho was given formal title by then Mexican Governor Jose Figueroa. Formal Patent was granted to Antonio Maria Ortega by the United States in 1866. Since then the rancho has been passed down to lineal descendants as heirs to Jose Francisco Ortega and is still in patent to the Ortega Family to this day.
US Patent 1866