On June 7, 1880, Ougheltree lost his portion of the original Los ‘Tularcitos to Alberto Trescony, the Italian tinsmith turned businessman/rancher, in a foreclosure sale (1-432). As mentioned previously, many of the ranchero owners were forced to borrow against their property in order to maintain their lavish styles of living during the dry years in the Carmel Valley. The sheriff’s deed conveying the land to Trescony indicated that Trescony purchased Lots 1-4 of the Rancho Los Tularcitos, consisting of 22,570 acres.
Of all the land acquisitions made by Trescony, the Tularcitos grant was the most troublesome in the courts. Pervious to formally acquiring it by foreclosure in June of 1880, Trescony has lent considerable sums of money to the owner, A.J Ougheltree. Part of the sums were used to pay property taxes. In spite of his attempts to discharge his debts through giving Trescony his cattle, Ougheltree and his partner, Matthew C. Ireland, owed Trescony some $37,309.00 by 1880. Trescony foreclosed, gaining title to about 10,000 acres of the Tularcitos. Later, the remaining portions were bought by Trescony, making his total holding over 22,000 acres. However, Oughltree had encumbered Los Tularcitos with easements and had failed to satisfy the heirs of the previous owner, so that Trescony was involved in considerable litigaton lasting until 1888 before the title was ultimately cleared. In addition, in 18883, Trescony had to pay $7,000.00 to Ougheltree to secure a release of all the latter’s claims to the property.
Trescony rented much of Los Tularcitos to ranchers who paid yearly rentals of $.25 to $.50 per acre. Some of the leaseholds were quite large (3,000 to 11,600 acres) while others were only around 700 to 800 acres. Trescony eventually sold off about ½ of the Rancho by 1888. These sales were parcels from 322 to 14,175 acres and were made with nominal down payments with notes or mortgages at 8%-10% interest on the balances. Some of these sales were made subject to Trescony acquiring a clear title in the courts and thus prevented him from liquidating his holdings completely for some time. In some instances, these parcels were sold to previous lessees, which was the case with respect to Felipe Piazzoi and Joseph Steffani. The land not sold or leased (most of the present Rana Creek Ranch holding among them) was used by Trescony for grazing and dairy purposes.
In addition, Ougheltree had established a dairy employing some 30 Chinese as cow herders, milkers, and dairymen; the principal product of which was butter which was packed in firkins and shipped to San Francisco. Trescony had retained the dairy operations after securing Los Tularcitos as condition in the deed from Ougheltree. However, he was not able to continue his dairying after 1879, since his neighbors protested his use of Chinese labor during the Kearney-inspired anti-Chinese excitement and threatened to burn down the ranch buildings if he did not fire the Chinese. It is interesting to note that this threat may have been carried out, as the second story floor beams which still remain on the adobe are heavily charred on the interior side.
In 1885, on neighboring properties, Andrew Blomquist acquired Lot 5 of Los Tularcitos, along with adjoining lands, totaling over 7,000. Blomquist operated a large cattle ranch through which the Tularcitos Creek runs all year due to a large spring at its head. Apparently there was plenty of water for Blomquist’s cattle troughs as well as for domestic purposes, according to Sam Jury, the ranch manager for the Carmel Rancho for forty years. Blomquist’s ranch was taken over by his son, Andrew Jr., and then passed on to Andrew Jr.’s song, Ben.
Ben Blonquist and his two sisters ran it for most of the first half of the 1900’s.
Joseph Steffani purchased 2,062.93 acres and right-of-way from Trescony on December 8,1880. Steffani started up a dairy and operated it, and then later sold the land to Leo Berta along with the dairy. In January 1891, Steffani filed two appropriation claims, one for the waters of Routon Canyon, about 35 feet from where the flume crosses the Spaulding ditch, and the other, for the waters of Canyon Creek to take waters, by damming, of Tularcitos House.
Most of Steffani Ranch was purchased by Berta to establish Berta’s new dairy and cattle ranch. The amount of water required for dairying use is significant, according to Leo Berta, in that dairy cows drink from 12-15 gallons each, per day. Berta had about 180 head average each year during his ownership of the diary. In addition, all the dairy equipment had to be washed and cleaned out at each day’s end.
Berta’s water originally came from a dammed creek that runs along the boundary between Los Laureles and Los Tularcitos, remains of the which can still be found. In addition, Berta apparently piped water from two springs higher up. Sometimes the amount of water used for the day dried out the redwood holding hand, set in the ground, Leo recalled.
In 1889, Alberto Trescony leased 13,000 acres to Carlisle Abbott, the Salinas Valley dairy farmer. It is not clear from the records whether this was the Tularcitos Diary or not. Alberto Trescony died suddenly on October 6, 1892, ironically, in the Abbott House in Salinas. Upon his death, the property, then 14,500 acres, was divided among his heirs. The chain of title showing the conveyance of those portions of Los Tularcitos which are currently part of Rana Creek Ranch is shown at page _.