According to documents available, including East of the Gabilans by Marjorie Pierce, 1976 and Sunshine, Fruit and Flowers: Santa Clara County, California by San Jose Historical Society, 1986, the following history exists about what is known as Sargent Ranch.
Sargent Ranch is rich in history dating back to 1835 when German brothers, Antonio and Faustino, received the original Mexican Grant for what was known as Juristac Rancho at the time. According to historical accounts, J.P. Sargent, along with his two brothers, acquired Juristac Rancho sometime between 1850 and 1856. J.P. Sargent ran 1,200 head of cattle on Sargent Ranch and by 1862 was importing Durham and Shorthorn cattle to improve his herds.
Mr. Sargent also operated a dairy at Sargent Ranch with about 206 had of cows. It is recorded that the output of the cheese factory was about seventeen flats a day of 25 pounds each.
In 1864, Mr. Sargent married Agnes Bowie of San Juan Bautista and together, they had five children; two sons and three daughters.
In 1869 the railroad connected through Sargent Ranch and Sargent Station was created. Located upon the banks of the softly flowing Pajaro River, Sargent Station was a popular picnic resort well-known for its “merry parties”. The river could be navigated with rowboats a distance of two miles below the station. Sargent Station was said to have a saloon and an open air dance floor which was frequented by cowboys and women who traveled by train from San Francisco.
One of the most unique features of Sargent Ranch is the tar seeping up through the ground. These tar springs were discovered in 1906, according to USGS, and once covered an area of 60 acres.
Upon the passing of the youngest daughter, Ida Sargent Blanding, in 1956, the Sargent Ranch estate passed on to the late Eda Rea who was the family attorney as well as a partner in some of the businesses and to Robin Anderson, a stepson of Ida.
Since then the Sargent Ranch property has changed hands numerous times and plans for developing the land have varied greatly from golf courses, to a hotel, residential development and an Indian casino. None of these ideas ever came to fruition and the Ranch eventually landed in bankruptcy court. Significant amounts of the debt was acquired by Debt Acquisition Company of America (DACA) which is the company working with Sargent Ranch Management Company on Sargent Quarry.
Sargent Ranch is currently used for cattle grazing, hay farming and includes historic oil wells dating back to the late 1800’s.