As you stroll through the Village you'll begin to feel as if you have been transported back to a simpler time. You'll see the place that Arroyo Grande's outlaws were forced to call home - the Hoosegow. You'll see where thousands of travelers passed on the historic Pacific Coast Railway. You'll see where a farmer was hanged in a dispute over land that became known as the infamous "Terrible Tragedy." You'll see history!
Branch Street serves as the main thoroughfare through historic Arroyo Grande. It is appropriately named after Francis Z. Branch, the gentleman who helped the town find its beginnings. Branch came to the Arroyo Grande area on a bear hunting expedition in 1832. Charmed by the untouched land, he later purchased 16,000 acres and became a successful cattle rancher.
After a year-long drought devastated the valley in 1864, Branch began to sell parts of his land to settlers. By 1876, thirty–five families had settled in the valley and established two stores, two saloons, a wheelwright, butcher shop, launder, and livery and feed yard. A local railway depot was established in 1882 and Arroyo Grande was on it’s way to becoming an established town.