California's rancho days come vividly to life in this information-packed collection of facts and stories. All the essentials are here: how the ranchos came to be, the rancheros' lifestyle, and the gradual decline of the rancho way of life following the American conquest of California. But that's just the beginning! Chapters devoted to eight selected ranchos tell of such fascinating episodes as the only pirate attack on a rancho, how two wealthy rancheros staged California's greatest horse race, the "golden mistake" that brought a fabulous fortune to famed explorer John Charles Frémont, and the surprising discovery that turned rancho land in Santa Clara County into California's richest mine.
128 pages, illustrated
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