Turn Up Your Speakers!

 Santa Margarita de Cortona Asistencia

This 14,000 acre former Mexican land grant is on of the last of the great Ranchos.  The Rancho still includes buildings dating back to the days of the Chumash Indians and Mission San Luis Obispo. It is one of only two Mission Assistencias with buildings still maintained and in tact.

You will see the great rocked-wall barn where priests came regularly by horseback up the grade from Mission San Luis Obispo to conduct mass for the Indians.

Santa Margarita Rancho Tour
May 15, 2004

Step back in time to Mission and Ranchero Ownership. 
The slide presentation begins with original photographs
of the Asistencia and Adobe buildings dating from the late 1800's.
You are then transported to May 15th, 2004 with images
from all around the property including  the
original adobe headquarters house, the garden,
objects around the grounds and
inside the home today followed by images of the
remaining walls of the Asistencia where our tour
ended with a wonderful gourmet picnic style lunch
and presentation by Loren Nicholson,
who arranged the tour,
Rob Rossi, one of the owners of the Rancho
and final words from Historical Society President, Kirk Scott.

Enjoy our Presentation
(and don't forget to turn on your speakers).

Click the start button and slides will view automatically.

You are listening to Padre Nuestro.
This work is a straightforward and heartfelt setting of the Lord's Prayer,
for four-part men's voices and is written by an anonymous composer.
This is one of many pieces by prominent and unknown composers
played frequently during the mission period.

2003 Article on the Rancho


The Atascadero News-September 2003

Santa Margarita Ranch dates all the way back to the Spanish mission days in California.

The ranch, sometimes referred to as San Luis Obispo County's "third mission," contains what at one time was the most northern outpost for Mission San Luis Obispo de Toloso.

The "asistencia" still stands near the main ranch buildings on the Ranch that was acquired by Joaquin Estrada in September, 1841. He acquired the 17,734 acres and owned it until bad times caused him to lose his rancho, which became the property of General P. W. Murphy in the 1860s. It was Murphy who constructed a barn over the asistencia to protect it from the elements. 

The building of this auxiliary mission was originally 120 by 20 feet and consisted of a chapel at the southwest end and eight rooms for the use of the majordomo and his servants and for visiting priests. One room was used as a granary for storing mission crops. 

"Three elliptical, beautiful arched doorways gave entrance to the main building," wrote Senator Chris N. Jespersen in his "History of the San Luis Obispo County." A portion of the asistencia remains today in one of the barns you see from either El Camino Real or Highway 101. 

The ranch eventually came to be owned by the Reis family who later offered the property to Cuesta College for a campus. Cuesta in turn gave the ranch to Stanford University and in the 1970s sold the rancho to the Robertson family of Texas.

The ranch today is under the ownership of four families.



Slide Show Photographs by Vivian Krug









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