Rancho el Pinole

ca ranch

Ignacio Martinez retired from the Mexican Army in 1831 after a long and distinguished career, and afterwards served a civil official at San Jose and Yerba Buena (San Francisco). In 1836 he moved his large family to Rancho el Pinole, an 18,000-acre land grant on Suisun Bay. He built a home of adobe, grazed cattle, set out a vineyard and fruit orchards, and planted crops. Martinez was among the first to furnish Swiss immigrant John Sutter with cattle and other goods when Sutter arrived in the Sacramento Valley in 1839. Ignacio Martinez died in 1848 and his eleven children inherited the property. His daughter Susana married Colonel William Smith, who founded a town site on part of the property in 1849, naming it in honor of the Martinez family. Martinez was a way station for gold rushers sailing to the inland gold fields from San Francisco.


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