In 1833, Lieutenant Vallejo was purchased by Governor Figueroa to study the nation north of Mission San Rafael, and to pay a visit to Fort Ross and Bodega Bay. On his way to Fort Ross, Vallejo crossed the fertile valley of Petaluma.
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Later on, he crafted a tiny dwelling and a corral, and in the spring he was prepared to petition for a grant of land the place he could location his livestock. The land grant was permitted by Governor Figueroa in June 1834. Governor Figueroa gave Vallejo vastly greater powers his title was Army Commander and Director of Colonization of the Northern Frontier, and he was exclusively requested to take cost of the mission at Sonoma, reduce it to the status of a parish church, totally free the Indian personnel, and distribute the mission lands and other assets among the the population at substantial. The 10 square league (close to forty four,000 acres (178 km2)) grant was confirmed by Governor Manuel Micheltorena and amplified by 5 square leagues (approximately 22,000 acres (89 km2)) in 1843. Despite the fact that Vallejo's rancho was centered on Petaluma, he produced his home in Sonoma.
With the cession of California to the United States adhering to the Mexican–American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo presented that the land grants would be honored. As essential by the Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho Petaluma was filed with the General public Land Fee in 1852,[four][five] and the grant was patented to Mariano G. Vallejo in 1874.[six][seven] James H. Watmough, purser on the USS Portsmouth, acquired land from Vallejo in 1847. In 1853 Watmough was an unsuccessful claimant for a 1 square mile (640 acres (3 km2)) portion of Rancho Petaluma.
As settlers made their way into Sonoma County in the mid-1850s, Vallejo subdivided and offered most of the rancho. In 1864, Vallejo offered the final remaining one,450 acres (6 km2) of the unique Rancho Petaluma to San Francisco banker Alfred Borel.