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Santa Margarita

Santa Margarita is a town and census-designated place located in San Luis Obispo County, California. It was founded in 1889 near Cuesta Peak and San Luis Obispo along State Route 58. The town's name comes from the Mexican Alta California land grant of Rancho Santa Margarita. It is home to the Santa Margarita de Cortona Asistencia site. The population was 1,259 at the 2010 census.GeographyLocated in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, it is one of the most rural communities in San Luis Obispo County. Santa Margarita Lake, a major water source for San Luis Obispo, is located several miles southeast of the town on the headwaters of the Salinas River. It is served by the zip code 93453 and area code 805.According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 0.5 square miles (1.3 km²), all of it land.HistorySanta Margarita Valley, with its year round running streams and abundant acorns, was a meeting place for northern Chumash and southern Salinan around 6500 CE. The de Anza Expedition traversed the Cuesta Grade into the valley in 1776. After Fr. Junipero Serra founded the Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, he realized that an assistancia (sub-mission) was needed. The Santa Margarita de Cortona Asistencia was founded circa 1775, and was named for the Italian Saint, Santa Margarita de Cortona. The Spanish El Camino Real trail past it is the city's present day main street.
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