Rancho Los Feliz

QUESTION:  In what year did the Mexican War end, resulting in the United States acquiring the land north of the Rio Grande River previously owned by Mexico?
A)  1783
B)  1812
C)  1848
D)  1898

The American Treasure Tour blog is dedicated to exploring our massive collection of Americana and automatic music machines, so you might wonder why we would dedicate today's blog to a land grant dating to 1795. It's a fair question, and we will answer it. But first, some background. The Rancho Los Feliz was located in modern-day Los Angeles. President Pedro Fages of Mexico gave it to an explorer named Jose Vicente Feliz, who guarded the settlers of a small community in the Spanish colony of California called El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles, or Los Angeles for short. That was back in 1775, when Feliz was part of what was called the Anza Expedition.  Feliz took control and ostensibly became the first mayor of Los Angeles. As a reward for his efforts, he was given 6,647 acres of land north of the city, consisting of modern-day Los Feliz, Griffith Park, East Hollywood and Silver Lake.

The land remained with the Feliz family for almost one hundred years. They retained ownership of it after the transition of California from control by the Mexican government to that of the United States, ultimately selling it in 1863.  That was the year it sold to a highly successful lawyer, Antonio F. Coronel.  He only kept it a few years prior to selling the land to a man named James Lick. You may not have heard of Mr. Lick, but you have (hopefully) enjoyed his greatest legacy. He was co-founder of San Francisco's iconic Ghirardelli Chocolates, created with his Peruvian uncle Domingo Ghirardelli.  He was also the wealthiest man in California for a time during the California Gold Rush. Wise investments found him uncertain of quite how to spend his massive fortune. He came up with a few noble ideas, including the construction of statues dedicated to himself and his family, or maybe a pyramid larger than the largest Egyptian pyramids in Giza placed in downtown San Francisco for himself. Ultimately, he was convinced to help establish the Lick Observatory in the University of California campus and Golden Gate Park, as well as a few less self-indulgent causes. He sold Rancho Los Feliz in 1882 to a successful mining correspondent and newspaper man named Griffith J. Griffith. Stay tuned.

ANSWER:  C)  1848.