Milpitas History

Although we tend to think that there could only be one community bearing this distinctive name, it turns out that there were at least two other sites called Milpitas.

One was a Rancho Milpitas formed when the lands of the Mission San Antonio de Padua, (in Monterey County, near today’s King City) were secularized and divided into Mexican land grants. When William Randolph Hearst acquired the rancho in 1925, he commissioned architect Julia Morgan (who also designed Hearst Castle, some 30 miles from there) to build the Hacienda Milpitas for his employees and guests. It was completed in 1930 and has also been known as Hacienda Guest Lodge and Milpitas Ranchhouse, under which name the property was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Although the land was acquired by the U.S. War Department in 1940 to create a troop training facility, and the Hacienda was used as housing by the military during WWII and after, today, the US Army Reserve operates the base, and a civilian concessionaire is allowed to run the Milpitas Hacienda as a hotel open both to the public and to the military.

The other was, according to Spanish and Indian Place Names of California, by Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez, the the crop and garden area of Mission San Antonio de Pala, in San Diego County. The Mission was founded in 1861 as an “asistencia” to its parent, Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, about 25 miles east of San Luis Rey, and is now located inside the Pala Indian Reservation.
April 1, 2012 by mhs