Monday, January 30, 2006

Question: CPRR Land Grants in L.A. County

From: "Ralph Shaffer"

Can you direct me to a map or volume that is very specific about the location of Central Pacific (Southern Pacific) land grant holdings within Los Angeles county? I need to know townships and sections as precisely as possible in order to pinpoint the location of a private holding that was apparently purchased from the R.R. in the late 1870s or early 1880s in what would now be the city limits of the city of Los Angeles.

The map on your website shows a wide swath of land in LA county that was such a land grant, but it doesn't show townships and sections.

I am specifically interested in RR land in-

Sec. 5, Township One South, Range 14 West of the San Bernardino Meridian, in which it appears the SPRR [CPRR?] may have held a diamond shaped parcel in the center of the section, in the vicinity of what would be Nichols Canyon today.

Where can I find a map, or a written description, verifying that the railroad did hold that particular parcel, and are there record books indicating when and to whom the parcel was sold? (probably in the late 1870s or early 1880s.)

Many thanks.

Ralph E. Shaffer
Professor emeritus, HIstory
Cal Poly Pomona


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Thanks for your inquiry. The only two maps that we have seen that show Los Angeles railroad land grants are the ones from 1875 and 1881 which do not appear to be sufficiently detailed to answer your question.

Perhaps you might find the railroad land grant information by reviewing real estate title reports for properties in the location of interest.

1/30/2006 8:32 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Not sure if the valuation maps would provide this information.

1/30/2006 8:48 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Wendell Huffman"

I would think the LA County recorder or clerk would be the only place to learn for sure whether any parcel of land was among that granted to the railroad.

Various maps exist which show the land granted to the railroad, but it is difficult if not impossible to distinguish accurate maps from those widely published for political reasons which inflate the size of the grants to make a point. One just cannot trust them.

—Wendell Huffman

1/30/2006 8:53 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Ralph Shaffer"

Many thanks for your suggestions. I'll follow them up.

Incidentally, one of the problems at the LA County Recorder's office is the exorbitant charge for what ought to be at the maximum a 25 cent fee for self-help photocopying. Instead, the clerk's insist on copying it for you and it's 5 dollars for the first page - and, can you believe this, you have pay for the entire document at an additional $3 per page even if you only want page one. Protests to the recorder fall on deaf ears.


1/30/2006 9:22 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


To find such land records, I'd start with the Los Angeles County Recorder's Office and trace the ownership of the parcel in question back as far as they go.

Also, the California State Railroad Museum just received (late last month, in fact) a large collection of Southern Pacific land office record books from the successor corporation, a few going back into the 19th century. The collection is uninventoried, so we really have no idea what is included in the collection, and it is not yet available for use. But in the future it wil be a valuable resource

Kyle Wyatt
California State Railroad Museum

1/30/2006 4:36 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

See Los Angeles County Recorder's Office – Real estate records.

1/30/2006 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps you have already been there, but the Bureau of Land Management maintains a data base of General Land Office conveyances that can be searched by grantee name, or by township/range/ section. It lists the SP ownership in sections 3, 5, & 7 of T 1-S and R 14-W. I do not believe there is a corresponding map, unfortunately. It would make life too easy, I guess.

3/23/2006 11:08 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

See related discussion.

10/11/2011 2:24 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Recent Messages