Tejon Ranch commemorates its 175th Anniversary by gifting
original Rancho El Tejon land grant deed bearing the signature of
President Abraham Lincoln
TEJON RANCH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 14, 2018--
Tejon Ranch Co. (NYSE:TRC) today commemorated the 175th
anniversary of the founding of Tejon Ranch by donating the original
Rancho El Tejon federal deed, bearing the authorized signature of
President Abraham Lincoln, to the Autry Museum of the American West.
Rancho El Tejon was the first of the four Mexican land grants that
comprise the present-day Tejon Ranch, to be awarded by the Mexican
government. The land grants were awarded at a time when Mexico wanted to
extend its influence over Alta California by giving large portions of
land to its citizens. On November 24, 1843, then Governor of Alta
California, Manuel Micheltorena, awarded the 98,000-acre Rancho El Tejon
to Juan Antonio Aguirre and Ignacio del Valle.
Following the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the land
grants previously awarded by the Mexican government had to be confirmed
and reauthorized by the United States government. Nearly 20 years after
the original Mexican land grant had been awarded, on May 9, 1863,
President Abraham Lincoln’s secretary, William O. Stoddard, affixed
Lincoln’s signature to a deed recognizing Aguirre and del Valle as the
rightful owners of Rancho El Tejon. That historic document, which has
been in the possession of Tejon Ranch for more than 150 years, will now
have a new home at the Autry Museum of the American West.
“We can think of no better way to recognize our 175 years as a
California landmark than to give a significant part of our history to a
museum that specializes in documenting, researching and exhibiting the
American West – the Autry Museum,” said Tejon Ranch Co. President and
CEO Greg Bielli. “When Tejon Ranch celebrated its 150th
anniversary, Gene Autry himself was present, so it’s fitting that the
Autry Museum play a part in commemorating our 175th by being
the recipient of this historic document.”
Of note is that the U.S. Surveyor General who confirmed the boundaries
of Rancho El Tejon was Edward Fitzgerald Beale, who later purchased the
rancho, and three adjacent ones, creating today’s 270,000-acre Tejon
Located 60 miles north of Los Angeles and 30 miles south of Bakersfield,
Tejon Ranch is the largest contiguous piece of private property in
California. Throughout its 175-year history, Tejon Ranch – and its
owners – have played a significant role in the development of both
California and the nation.
Beale, the original owner and founder of today’s Tejon Ranch, was the
first person to carry news to Washington, DC and the east coast that
gold had been discovered in California, helping to trigger the largest
mass migration in US history. At Beale’s urging, in 1854, the US Army
opened Fort Tejon, the remains of which are located across the freeway
from Tejon Ranch Co.’s corporate headquarters. In the late 1850s, the
Fort Tejon area was the third largest inhabited settlement in Southern
California. Beale was commissioned to improve the pass leading out of
the Southern California mountains in what is now the Santa Clarita area.
Because Beale’s Cut, as it was called, made travel between Southern and
Northern California easier, it is credited by many historians as the
reason why California was not divided into two states. Beale later
surveyed the first transcontinental wagon road route through the west
and eventually would be named US ambassador to Austria-Hungary by
President Ulysses S. Grant.
Situated at the center of California, connecting both north and south,
Tejon Ranch sits in a strategic location. It’s home to vital
transportation and communications corridors, oil and gas pipelines,
electrical transmission lines and more. 17 miles of the State Water
Project crosses over or tunnels through Tejon Ranch, including the
largest pumping plant in the system, which is critical to delivering
water to Southern California. Interstate 5, formerly Highway 99,
formerly the Ridge Route, formerly the Los Angeles – Stockton Road,
formerly the route for the Butterfield Stage Coach line, all have passed
through Tejon’s western boundaries.
In 2008, Tejon Ranch set the model for private conservation when it
signed the Tejon Ranch Conservation and Land Use Agreement. This
landmark agreement with five major environmental resource groups calls
for Tejon Ranch to permanently conserve 240,000 acres of its property –
90% of the ranch. In 2009, the agreement was recognized with
California’s most prestigious environmental honor, the Governor’s
Environmental and Economic Leadership Award. The Bakersfield National
Cemetery, a new veterans cemetery opened in 2009, rests on 500 acres
that were donated by Tejon Ranch. The cemetery has subsequently been
named a National Shrine.
Tejon Ranch uses a small portion of its land for real estate
development. The Tejon Ranch Commerce Center and Outlets at Tejon,
located at the junction of I-5 and Highway 99, is a destination for
those traveling north and south through the state. Its central location
directly on Interstate 5 has also proven ideal for companies
distributing their goods throughout California and the west. The
Commerce Center is home to distribution centers for IKEA, Caterpillar,
Dollar General, Famous Footwear, and in 2019, will be joined by L’Oréal
USA’s professional salon distribution operation, Salon Centric. More
than five million square feet of commercial/industrial space has been
developed to date, creating nearly 4,000 jobs, with an additional 15
million square feet, and thousands of more jobs, to go.
Addressing both the current housing shortage in California, and
preparing for future generations, Tejon Ranch is planning and will be
developing three master planned mixed-use residential communities, two
already approved in Kern County, and the other in the final stages of
the entitlement process in Los Angeles County. Combined, and pending
approval in Los Angeles County, the three Tejon Ranch communities would
construct nearly 35,000 homes and build an additional 15 million square
feet of commercial space, creating thousands of jobs and accommodating
the pressing need for additional housing opportunities in the state.
A diversified company, Tejon Ranch also has a significant agricultural
division. It leases portions of its land for a variety of uses,
including oil exploration and production, mineral operations, and a
natural gas-powered power plant. It also maintains cattle grazing leases
over the vast majority of it property, operates wildlife management and
equestrian operations, and opens its land for filming opportunities.
About Tejon Ranch Company (NYSE: TRC)
Tejon Ranch Co. (NYSE: TRC) is a growth-oriented, diversified real
estate development and agribusiness company whose principal asset is its
270,000-acre historic land holding located approximately 60 miles north
of Los Angeles and 25 miles south of Bakersfield. Celebrating its 175th
year, Tejon Ranch is positioned for growth with its fully operational
commercial/industrial real estate development and three master planned
communities on the horizon.
More information about Tejon Ranch Co. can be found online at http://www.tejonranch.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181114005259/en/
Source: Tejon Ranch Co.
Barry Zoeller, Vice President
Corporate Communications & Investor