History and Historic Sites of the Valley * Then and Now Photos * Lost Crescenta * Rockhaven * Membership
The Verdugos came to Alta California as soldados de cuera, or leather-jacket soldiers, with the Spanish army in the late 1700s. In 1784, Jose Maria Verdugo, in return for his service to the crown, received one of the first land grants in Alta California. This grant netted Verdugo 36,000 acres west of the San Gabriel Mission, which he called Rancho San Rafael. The property included the eponymous Verdugo mountain range and eventually descendents of Jose Maria decided to contribute parts of their land to map out and officially create the city of Glendale.
Speaker Don Urquidez is a direct descendent of the Verdugos, and still lives near the family's original home in La Crescenta. Learn about life in Early California from a member of the Verdugos, the "first family" of Glendale.
Members of the Verdugo family pose at the Verdugo adobe in the '20s.