It is said by some elders that El Toro got its present name when a padre's prayer for divine intervention stopped a charging bull. Before that it was called Alison City.
During the mid-1800's, Don Jose--father of EL Toro--built five adobes, one of which was his residence and still exists. In 1975 that home, now called the Serrano Adobe, was moved to Heritage Hill Historical Park.
The historical park also houses the El Toro Grammar School, a one-room schoolhouse built in 1890; St. George's Episcopal Mission, built in 1891 as the house of worship for the early English colonists, and the Harvey Bennett Ranch House, built by Charles F. Bennett in 1908 for a live-in caretaker. The park is open daily. Guided tours are available at no charge or visitors may show themselves around.
Four years ago the city purchased a parcel of land on Canada Road for $400,000 and held it in reserve to accumulate more value. Today the parcel is valued at $1.6 million. The community hopes to pass along the profits to residents in the form of affordable housing for those of modest means.