The Pinto Lake area was part of a 15,400 acre land grant from Spain to Jose Amesti who, in 1844 deeded the land to his wife, Prudencia de Vallejo. The lake was named for Rafael Pinto, son of Serafin Pinto, the Chief Civil Officer, or Alcalde, of Branciforte, who married Maria Amesti.
The north portion of Pinto Lake passed into the hands of Charles Ford in 1861 who sold it to George S.P. Cleveland the next year. Cleveland constructed the buildings and developed this 164 acre parcel as a ranch. In 1974, the County of Santa Cruz purchased the north portion of Pinto Lake “to protect the lake while providing recreation.”
This was submitted by Tracy E. from Watsonville, CA.