El Escorpion Road

It may look like your standard 1960s suburban street, but El Escorpion Road was named way back in 1914 on a tract owned by dairyman George E. Platt. The name alludes to Rancho El Escorpión, once located due north of here. Said rancho – presumably named for the scorpions found therein – was a 1,109.65 acre land grant deeded in 1845 by then-governor Pío Pico to a Chumash chief named Odon, his son-in-law Urbano, and Urbano’s son Manuel. There followed decades of muddled land sales and lawsuits. Of the rancho’s various owners, the most famous was Basque sheepherder Miguel Leonis (1822-1889), whose Leonis Adobe still stands in Calabasas. His housekeeper Espiritu Chijulla (1836-1906), one of Odon’s daughters, became Leonis’s common-law wife and later waged a lengthy legal battle for her share of his estate. She emerged victorious just seven months before her death. George Platt purchased the property from her son Juan in 1912 in order to grow his dairy.