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History: It was magnificent land blessed with verdant open spaces dotted with towering oak trees, sycamores, a valley of rich grasses and natural hot springs. It reminded Esequial Murrieta of his native Spain, so he bought 52,000 acres, fully intending to move his sheep ranching operation here from central California.
But he never did, going back to the Santurtzi area of Spain to marry and turning his holdings over to younger brother Juan, who brought a flock of some 100,000 sheep to the valley. The year was 1873. Click here for the rest of the story.