The recorded history of Jaxon Keys dates back to the original Mexican land grant given to Fernando Feliz in1844 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena. The 17,754 acres granted to Feliz was known as Rancho Sanel.
Fernando de la Trinidad Feliz was born on May 30, 1795 in what is today known as Los Angeles, California. In 1831, Feliz was a Regidor or town councilman at the Pueblo of San Jose. This government appointment led to Feliz becoming the grantee of Rancho Novato in 1839. Rancho Novato, which covered over 8800 acres, would eventually become Novato, California.
When Feliz received the Rancho Sanel grant, he sold Rancho Novato for a herd of livestock. He moved his cattle to what we now call Mendocino County and built an adobe house just south of the present-day town of Hopland.
Feliz struggled with the U.S. Public Land Commission to keep Rancho Sanel. Feliz hired John Knight as his legal advisor to secure the confirmation of his land grant. For his successful services, Knight received a section of the land, which eventually became known as Knights Valley.
Over time, Feliz sold off parcels of the land grant to settlers for low prices and advantageous terms, leaving his descendents with only one lot on the east side of Hopland. Scottish immigrant John McGlashen was one of these settlers, purchasing 1580 acres in 1858 from Feliz for $4500.
The farmhouse at Jaxon Keys was built by McGlashen for his wife Anna and their daughter Jeanne. McGlashen named his property Burnee Hill Ranch, which means House on the Hill.
McGlashen died in 1895, just six years after marrying Anna. Anna continued to run Burnee Hill, a working sheep ranch, and married Edward Gambrel in 1899.
John McGlashen (1818-1895)
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, John ran away from home at age 17 and sailed for Australia, where he spent 9 years in police work. In 1844 he became a typesetter in New York City. When gold was discovered in California he sailed around the Horn to San Francisco and established a book and stationary business on Montgomery Street. In 1856 he sold the business and moved to Hopland because he felt San Francisco was too congested. He married Anna Pope in 1889 and they had a daughter, Jeanne Wilson McGlashen.
Anna Pope McGlashen Gambrel
Anna’s maiden name and date of birth are unknown; we do know she was born in Newport, Kentucky and died in Ukiah, California in 1936. She moved from Chicago, Illinois in 1883 with her husband, John Pope, and purchased the Ukiah City Press Newspaper. She continued to run the paper after Pope’s death until she married John McGlashen in 1889. John McGlashen died in 1895 and Anna continued to run Burnee Hill Ranch. She married Edward Gambrel in 1899.