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The sincere and cordial greeting of rancho owners such as Don José Serrano and Juan Avila was a characteristic of the age of the rancho in California, and, of course, in today’s Saddleback Valley. A glow often surrounds that era when cattle was king, and the landscape was dotted by a sparse collection of scattered adobes, each of which was a symbol of ownership, individual and family.

Vast acreages had been granted by the governments, very few by the Spanish authorities, a much larger number given out by the authority of the Mexican government after that country had secured its independence from a declining Spain. Stranger or friend, the welcome was always the same, for the traveler would bring news. He and his horse, for horsemanship was the hallmark of the period, would receive food, shelter, and financial aid if such was required.

6 x 9 inches
125 illustrations & maps; 210 pages
ISBN 1-891-30-31-0


Stories of
Old El Toro
Essays On A Time
Gone By

Joe Osterman

(Formerly titled
Recuerdos de
El Toro Viejo)



"Stories of Old El Toro is the last book by local historian Joe Osterman. His vast knowledge coupled with over one hundred photographs gives a visual panorama of the old  community."

-- Douglas Westfall, Publisher

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