Duarte Historical Society

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277 Opal Canyon Rd.
Duarte, California 91010

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Rancho de Duarte History

ANDRES DUARTE was born at Mission San Juan Capistrano, in Alta California in November 1805. At age 16 he followed his father's career and joined the Mexican army. He was assigned to Mission San Gabriel. Gradually he assumed more responsibility and was finally the major domo, responsible for monitoring the outer lands of the Mission. Transferred to the Mission San Gabriel garrison in his early thirties, he was assigned to protect the Mission property from San Gabriel to San Bernardino. He acquired a deep fondness for the lush green lands surrounding the Rio Azusa, today the San Gabriel River. He grew fond of the area adjacent to the San Gabriel River along the foothills of the mountains, and in 1841, on retirement from military service after 20 years, he petitioned Governor Juan Alvarado for a grant of land that was a vacant portion of the Rancho Azusa. Within two weeks he was granted what was later surveyed to be 6,595 acres! And though he applied as "Citizen" Andres Duarte, the grant immediately made him, now an extensive landowner, "Don" Andres Duarte of the Rancho Azusa de Duarte.

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Duarte Historical Society
277 Opal Canyon Rd.
Duarte, CA 91010
(626) 357-9419
Formed in 1952, this non-profit society is staffed by volunteers dedicated to preserving local history and operating the museum for the benefit of visitors, including students, from throughout the San Gabriel Valley.