Only a short time before Ygnacio Palomares had obtained permission from his friend, Prefect Arguello, to move some of his stock from Rancho San Jose, where Claremont now stands, to Yucaipa, claiming a shortage of feed for his stock. When Palomares saw Sepulveda building a substantial adobe on a tract that he had considered unoccupied, there began lengthy litigation over possession of the property.
On one side were aligned the Prefect Arguello and Palomares; on the other, Antonio Maria Lugo and Diego Sepulveda. Governor Alvarado was grandnephew of Lugo, and favored the cause of the latter. Eventually Lugo paid eight hundred dollars worth of hides and tallow to an emissary of the Governor, in return for transfer of the San Bernardino Mission property to Lugo. This transaction illustrates the manner in which Mission properties were confiscated by the Mexican government, and later sold to individuals. Several years afterward when controversy arose over the grant, Governor Alvarado explained that "the place called San Bernardino had been ceded to him (Lugo), on June 21, 1842".1
Don Diego Sepulveda
"Details of the life on the rancho during its occupation by the Lugos and Sepulvedas are disappointingly rare. The social connections of the families centered in Los Angeles, and the days spent on the rancho were devoted by the men folks to the business of stock raising".2 After the coming of the Mormons, Sepulveda and Lugo sold out to them and removed to Los Angeles. The picture above of Don Diego Sepulveda hangs in the Avila Adobe on Olvera Street in Los Angeles. The Sepulveda adobe in Yucaipa is owned by the San Bernardino County Museum and has been restored.
1 California Land Commission, Case 316, cited by Beattie, op. cit., p. 52.
2 Beattie, op. cit., p. 55.