Verdugo, a corporal of the Royal Presidio of Monterey, in 1784 by
"the Mission San Fernando was founded in 1797 by Father Lasuen. The
magnitude of these grants may be realized by the fact that the Verdugo
ranch house is situated on Opechee Way in Glendale and the mission is
situated on Mission Boulevard in San Fernando.
"Because of the indefinitely marked boundaries of the Spanish Period,
there have been disputes by all subsequent communities in this valley.
The Verdugos claimed that their ranch ended by an old pine tree with a
steer skull beside it, in the area of what is now called Hansen Heights
(later Lake View Terrace). The Franciscans moved the steer skull and
claimed that the mission lands ended at the pass above what is now
California history has been based on three periods, Spanish, Mexican
and American. After Mexico declared independence from Spain, the Mexican
government broke up the older Spanish grant of San Raphael into the
smaller ranches -- La Canada, Tujunga and San Pasqual.
The effects of the Verdugo Ranch on our community are not slight. The
hills surrounding us bear the name Verdugo. These hills have been made
known all over the world by the writings of John Steven McGroarty. A
school was named after the Verdugos.
From all directions, a visitor would be met by the remnants of Spanish
and Mexican background. He is met by the Casa de Verdugo in Glendale, the
Cahuenga Pass where two battles were fought (The Battle of Cahuenga Pass
in 1831 between Pio Pico and Gov. Manuel Vitoria, and a second battle in
1845, and it was at Campo Cahuenga the treaty was signed, ceding
California to the United States).
If entering from the San Fernando Valley, and from the northwest, the
visitor would see Lopez Canyon, named for the Lopez brothers of the
Rancho Tujunga who discovered the first gold in California.
From the west is the old mission, now refurbished and beautiful. So
much of the Spanish and Mexican influence remains.
We are indebted to the writers and reporters of the past for
presenting this information in clear form to help us remember our
history. It wasn't such a long tine ago when the land on which we live
was covered with grasslands and streams, adobes and wickiups.
If we are fortunate enough to attend a function in the John Steven
McGroarty Auditorium at Verdugo Hills High School we may close our eyes
and dream a bit knowing that the land lying under us was once at the
boundary of two great ranches.