San Benito County, California

San Benito County was formerly a part of Monterey County, by which it is bounded on the south and west; Merced and Fresno are on the east, and Santa Clara constitutes its northern boundary; its area is 1,056 square miles. The population, which in 1880 was 5,584, is now estimated at 8,500. Hollister is the county seat, and is a flourishing town of 2,500 inhabitants. San Juan, seven miles from Hollister, is an old town, and is the site of one of the Franciscan missions. Tres Pinos is a young but enterprising village on the Southern Pacific. Between the Gabilan and Mount Diablo ranges, which enclose the county, are many thousand acres of fine farming land, watered by the San Benito River and Tres Pinos creek. Wool growing is an important industry, and the mineral products of the county have added materially to its prosperity. The famous New Idria quicksilver mines, discovered in 1852, are among the richest in the world, the estimated value of their output to date being over $8,000,000. Limestone of good quality and iron ore and antimony also exist in the Gabilan Mountains. The assessed valuation of the county in 1889 was $6,272,911.


Source: California State Gazetteer and Business Directory 1890, Volume II, R. L. Polk & Company, 1890.

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Created December 2, 2015 by Judy White