671 South Oakglen Avenue, Nipomo, CA 93444 dana@danaadobe.org 805.929.5679

Horses on the Rancho

Four legged friends hanging-out at the Dana Adobe

Plan your next event at the Dana Adobe in Nipomo

Planning a wedding? Tie the knot under the historic Sycamore tree!

Located below the hills and among the fields of Nipomo, the rustic rancho setting of the 175 year old Dana Adobe is perfect for your next outdoor event. Capable of accommodating intimate gatherings or larger groups.

PROVIDED: tables, chairs, string lights, outdoor heaters, a dance floor, onsite parking, a bridal changing room, and facility manager.

Rentals start at $1500

Francis (Franicsco) Ziba Branch

Francis (Franicsco) Ziba Branch (1802-1874): Francis Ziba Branch was born in upstate New York in 1802 and left his family at an early age to make his own way in the world. In 1830, after various experiences including sailing ventures on Lake Erie, he joined, at St. Louis, a trading party bound for Santa Fe. While there Branch joined the Wolfshill trapping party and came with them to California in the Spring of 1831. A few of the party decided to remain, Branch among them. He married Maria Dominga Manuela Carlon (1815-1909) in 1835 and he and his wife were granted land in the vicinity of San Luis Obispo. Later, by right of his own grant [Santa Manuela Rancho, granted in 1837] and two others [Pismo and Huer-Huero] which he claimed through his wife’s family and by purchase, he became possessed of one of the largest land holdings in the county. His business prospered and in 1874 he died, leaving a large family to share in a considerable estate. (www.oac.cdlib.org)

The three eldest Branch sons married three Robbins women, who were 1st cousins to the Dana siblings.  According to Juan Francisco, “…I remember Don Francisco as a fine man, slightly built but very hardy, and much interested in education.  He even sent to New York for a tutor for his children.  He built the first schoolhouse at Arroyo Grande and held many public positions in the new county of San Luis Obispo after its formation.” [Blond Ranchero, p. 75]

California Brand History

Brand History Branding has been around for thousands of years. There is Biblical evidence that Jacob, the great herdsman, branded his stock. Egyptians have shown ancient brands on tombs and drawings of the actual work of branding.

Introduction of cattle by the Spaniards lead to the development of the cattle industry of the Southwest and the eventual spread of the great herds to California in the days of the Missions. Hernando Cortez brought the first branding irons to the New World; Cortez’s brand design was three crosses representing Christian the Trinity. The middle cross was larger than the two crosses on either side.

The California Hide and Brand Law was first sponsored in 1915 by the state’s cattlemen, but as the proposed legislation made no provision for revenue necessary for its enforcement, the 1915 Legislature would not act upon it. The sponsors were advised that before it could become law, it would be necessary for them to provide revenues for its administration.

With this provision in mind, the Hide and Brand Law sponsored by the cattlemen of California was approved as Chapter 678, of the 1917 Legislature on May 28, 1917, and it became effective July 27, 1917. For two years, it was administered by a board know as the Cattle Protection Board.

In 1918 the board issued a list of “Cattle Brands and Licensed Slaughterers” as of December 31, 1918, in compliance with “An act to create a Cattle Protection Board, to define its powers and duties, to protect the breeders and growers of cattle from theft, to provide for the registration of cattle brands and the licensing of cattle slaughters and sellers of the meat thereof, to provide for inspection of cattle and cattle hides for brands and marks, to provide for the collection for license and cattle protection fund, and to provide penalties for violations.”

The law provided for establishing branding districts, registering cattle brands, licensing cattle slaughterers and the inspection of all cattle for shipment or slaughter, and the inspection of hides.

The first law did not apply to registered purebred cattle or purebred cattle which could be identified as being entitled to be registered, nor did it apply to the dressed carcasses of veal with unmarked or unbranded hides, nor did it apply to cows used for dairy purposes. Later all bovine animals were included in its provisions.

In 1919, the Cattle Protection Board was abolished and Cattle Protection Service became a part of the Department of Food & Agriculture on July 27, 1919.

In 1929, the law was revised to include a new section to the code providing for the licensing of cattle dealers who transported cattle they bought for sale or slaughter in their own conveyances. Due to the increased expense of administering this section, the cattle Protection Service received an appropriation of $15,000 from the General Fund. This is the only appropriation the Bureau has ever received from the General Fund.

In 1935, the registration of horse, mule, burro and sheep brands and the inspection of horses offered for slaughter were added to the duties of the Cattle Protection Service.

In 1936, the name of the Cattle Protection Service was changed to the Livestock Identification Service. In 1940, the Bureau of Livestock Identification was established. We have been protecting California’s Cattle Industry ever since.


From the “California Brand Book, 2010” found on this link.

Eagle Scout builds Rancho Carretta for Dana Adobe

Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos is the recipient of Ian Howell’s Eagle Scout project for Troop 450. Ian built a 19th century replica of a carretta which was used by Missions and ranchos. He modeled his carretta after one he saw at La Purisima Mission. Ian, who turned 18 on June 1st and graduated from Nipomo High School on June 8th said, “ I built it as a service project to help a local non-profit organization, Dana Adobe Nipomo Amigos, and to earn and fulfill the requirements for the rank of Eagle Scout. Also I wanted to pay back the community that I grew up in that taught me so many valuable life skills and some early American history, too. Throughout the three months it took to build this cart, I received help from Troop 450, my family, friends and even my neighbors. My dad, Jim Howell, gave me the reclaimed wood to build the carretta’s base. My friend, Jason Tidalgo, gave me the black locust branches for the rails. I thank my parents and Harry Holden for pushing me to meet the deadline.” When asked what advice he would give to aspiring Eagle Scouts he said, “Do not procrastinate! Get your paper work and project done early.”

The carretta is currently “parked” where Captain William (Guillermo) Dana may have kept his carrettas that he used to carry hide and tallow to his Avila warehouse.