TWO CENTURIES IN THE HIGH COUNTRY Commemorating the two-hundredth birthday of California
as a province, Republic and state
by Tom Hudson
1769: The cross is raised
JULY 2: Father Junípero Serra concluded his diary of the march from Loreto, in Baja
California, to the Port of San Diego with this remark: "Sunday. The Fiesta of the
Visitation of Our Lady. We have offered a Thanksgiving Mass in honor of her Very
Holy Husband (Saint Joseph), Patron of the two expeditions by land and sea. We have
seen them now at last united, in this their primary destination." The evolution of
California had begun. In San Diego Bay the packets San Antonio and San Carlos were
anchored. On shore the business of founding an empire proceeded while Captain Gaspár
de Portolá laid plans for his march up the coast in search of the Bay of Monterey.
16: Father Serra raised the cross and blessed it in the valley where soon Mission
San Diego de Alcalá was to be built.
1770-1789: Era of intrepid explorers 1770: Portolá,
having failed on his first attempt to find Monterey Bay, again set out from San Diego
for another trial. This time, accompanied by Father Serra and Father Juan Crespi,
he was successful.
1771: Mission San Gabriel Arcangel founded.
1774: The first overland
route from Sonora to California was established by Juan Bautista de Anza.
Anza made his second march from Sonora,' this time with California's first colonizers.
At a camp near the present town of Anza one of the women in his party gave birth
to the first white child to be born in California. Father Luis Jayme and two other
men lost their lives in an Indian attack on the mission at San Diego.
San Juan Capistrano founded on November 1.
1781: Two small missions, newly established
near the Yuma crossing west of the Colorado River, were destroyed by Indians and
all occupants massacred.
1782: Searching for deserters from the presidio at San Diego,
Pedro Fages found an opening into the mountains from the desert to which he gave
the name Vallecito. The little valley later became an important stopping place on
the southern immigrant trail from the East.
1790-1809: King of Missions
1795: The time
had come when the padres dreamed of an expansion of the missions inland---a dream
that was never realized. In this year Father Juan Mariner, with an escort of soldiers,
explored the Valley of San José (Warner's Ranch) and the valley of the San Luis Rey
River through the Indian community of Pala to the ocean.
1797: Intent on the same
mission, Father Juan Santiago and seven soldiers under command of Captain Pedro Lisalde
ascended the mountains back of San Juan Capistrano, dropped down to Laguna Grande
(Elsinore) and made their way to Temecula and Pala.'
1798: Mission San Fernando de
España was founded. Temporarily, at least, the dream of an inland chain of missions
had been abandoned. In the same year, Mission San Luis Rey de Francia was founded.
It grew to be the most productive of all and won the title of "King of Missions."
the 1790s Captain George Vancouver sailed from California to Hawaii with the islands'
1804: First orange trees planted at Mission San Gabriel.
Break with the past
1810: On May 20 a small capilla was established as an asistencia
of Mission San Gabriel at San Bernardino. This was the first step in extending mission
1816: On June 13 Father Antonio Peyri, who spent thirty-three years
on the San Luis Rey River, established the chapel of San Antonio at Pala as an asistencia
of Mission San Luis Rey.
1818: Santa Ysabel Chapel was founded on September 12 in
the highlands south of the Valley of San José as an asistencia of Mission San Diego.
Mexico, of which California was a province, won its independence from Spain. Father
Peyri founded Las Flores asistencia on the coast between San Luis Rey and San Juan
1824-1839: Across the plains If we are to give credence to some sources
not usually recognized, Sylvester Pattie and his son, James O., and a party of trappers
arrived in San Diego in 1824, culminating an expedition which started in Missouri.
Pattie's own account, however, sets the year as 1828.
Credit for being the first
to arrive overland from the United States is generally given to Jedediah Smith and
party who arrived at Mission San Gabriel in 1826. In that same year the first mail
was brought overland from Sonora to San Luis Rey by Ramualdo Pancheco.
by sea, Abel Stearns, later to become owner of vast California holdings and thereby
earn the title of El Rico, arrived in California from the East Coast.
1831: John Trumbull
Warner and David Jackson completed a crossing from Saint Louis and Santa Fe, arriving
at San Luis Rey' in early November.
1835: Richard Henry Dana sailed the California coast as a seaman on one of many Boston
vessels then engaged in trade with California missions. He described San Pedro as
"the hell of California."
1836: The order for secularization of mission holdings sealed
the future fate of the mission era in California.
1840-1849: Ranchos.. Wars.. Gold With
the lands now under civil control, and with a threat of dominance by the United States,
the years 1841 to 1846 saw the issuing of grants to most of the great ranchos of
the High Country.
1842: Gold discovered on Rancho San Francisquito.
Trading Post was established. The United States declared war on Mexico and in December
General Stephen Watts Kearny arrived at Warner's from Fort Leavenworth. On December
6 his troops were defeated in the bloodiest battle of the Mexican War at San Pasqual.
The siege at Mule Hill followed. Kit Carson,' Lieutenant Edward Beale and an unnamed
Indian made their way to Commodore Robert Stockton's headquarters in San Diego where
aid was secured to break the siege.
1847: The war came to an end when the Californios
capitulated in Cahuenga Pass near Los Angeles on January 13. Indians rebelled in
the Pauma Valley followed by the massacre of eleven Mexicans at Warner's.` This massacre
led to the slaying of thirtyeight Pauma Indians near Aguanga. On January 21 the Mormon
Battalion arrived belatedly at Warner's to take part in the war.
1848: Kit Carson
left Los Angeles for the East with mail and news of the discovery of gold on the
American River. Mexico ceded California to the United States. The military rule under
which California had been governed since the American occupation ended. For the next
two years California was without either military or civil rule. The Provisional State
of Deseret (Utah) was organized and claimed all of the High Country within its boundaries,
with San Diego as its seaport."
1849: Southern trail through Temecula, San Luis Rey,
Laguna Grande and El Monte became an important route for immigrants seeking gold
and land. Survey of international boundary between Mexico and the United States was
started and was completed in 1851.
1850-1859: Statehood Indians rebel
admitted as a state of the Union. Los Angeles and San Diego counties incorporated.
A general Indian uprising was planned with chiefs of tribes gathering in the hills
near Warner's Ranch from a vast area. The trading post on the ranch was attacked
and burned, with at least eight deaths resulting. Indian trouble was ended with the
squelching of this uprising.
1851: Fort Yuma was established on the west bank of the
1852. A Treaty of Peace and Friendship, entered into between representatives
of the United States and various Indian tribes, was signed at Temecula on January
5. The treaty was repudiated on July 8 by Congress.
1853: San Bernardino County incorporated.
Was then and still is the biggest county in the United States.
1857: Jim Birch's jackass
Mail established between San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego. First mail left San Diego
1858: First stages of Butterfield Overland Mail left Tipton, Missouri, and
San Francisco on September 16.
1859: First post office in the inland portion of the
High Country established at Temecula on April 22.13
During the years 1850 to 1860
many thousands of head of cattle driven to California from the East.
1861: California having declared in favor of the Union in the War Between
the States, a 'group of Southern sympathizers was captured near Warner's Ranch on
November 28. The men were taken to Camp Wright (Oak Grove)," which had been established
to protect the military route to the East.
1862: On April 13 two thousand troops left
Wilmington under Colonel James Henry Carleton for Camp Wright and New Mexico as a
part of California's war effort.
1863: Severe drouth was said to have caused the death
of thirty thousand head of cattle on the Stearns Ranch near Riverside.
1869: San Diego
County gold rush got off to slow start in mountains near Julian." Gold continued
to be mined in the High Country for several decades with the area around Perris and
Elsinore making an important contribution.
1876: Los Angeles was connected by rail
with the East when the Southern Pacific completed a line from the San Joaquin Valley.
Temecula Indians were evicted from their homeland along the Temecula River and relocated
in the hills between Temecula and Pala.
1880-1909: Steel rails overland
was a decade of establishment of cities. Many of the towns in the High Country, some
of which no longer exist, were started during this period. Railroad fare from Kansas
City to California dropped to as low as one dollar. The land rush exceeded even the
gold rush of the 1850s.
1882: California Southern Railway completed its tracks from
National City to Temecula." Three years later this line became a link, via Cajon
Pass, in the first transcontinental line to reach San Diego. 1 1889: Orange County
1893: Riverside County incorporated.
1903: Cupeño Indians were evicted
from Warner Springs and moved to Pala.
1907: Imperial County incorporated.
Theodore Roosevelt's Great White Fleet, under command of Admiral Bob Evans, visited
San Pedro on its show-of-power and good-will voyage around the world.
old gives way
1913: Aqueduct from Owens Valley to Los Angeles completed.
High Country drawn closer to the East with completion of the Panama Canal.
Kearny, north of San Diego, inaugurated as a training center for World War One soldiers.
Charles A. Lingbergh flew from San Diego on May 10 via Saint Louis and New York to
1918: March Field established near Riverside.
1942: Historic Rancho Santa Margarita
near Oceanside became Camp Pendleton, U. S. Marine Corps Base, for training fighting
men for World War Two.
1941: Tunnel through Mount San Jacinto completed and first
water brought from Colorado River to the High Country. 1949: Following more than a
decade of meticulous work on its mirror, Palomar Observatory was put in operation
atop Palomar Mountain.
1964: The last of the High Country's big cattle ranches, the
Vail Ranch, was sold to the Kaiser interests and New York Central-Pennsylvania Railway.
The 87,000-acre ranch, under the name of Rancho California," is being developed as
a huge diversified residential-industral-farm community.
1960s: A decade for the oldsters.
During these years many retirement communities have been launched throughout the
High Country. Dotting the landscape with ultramodern homes, they have quickly taken
their places in an environment steeped in the remnants of centuries of former occupation.
The end and the beginning. A Temecula Indian, wrinkled, and wise in the ways of the
universe in which he lives, settled down for an evening of relaxation in his small
home at the base of Palomar Mountain. It was Christmas eve, and the thoughts of the
old Indian were on the mountain, and they were with his forefathers of old who had
studied the moon from the mountain's summit; and his thoughts were on the legendary
story of creation handed down by his people:
"In the beginning everything was empty
and quiet. . . There shone no light from the sun or the moon.... Then the dimness
of twilight appeared."
A voice from his television interrupted the old Indian's thoughts.
It was a human voice from Apollo 8, a quarter of a million miles from earth and swiftly
approaching the sharp division between lunar day and night:
"In the beginning God
created the heaven and the earth.... And darkness was on the face of the deep. .
And God said, Let there be light; and there was light."
Named after the legendary
Spanish explorer, Anza is located in the high desert, an hour and a half's drive
northeast of San Diego or some two and a half hours' drive southeast of Los Angeles.
The valley and the mountains around are home to several Native American reservations
and include a number of state and national parks.
Anza is a gateway to exploration
of this great outback: hikers heading for Canada up the rugged Pacific Crest Trail,
horsemen following in the tracks of the Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition, off road
vehicle enthusiasts putting their skills to the test, mountain bikers discovering
new Moabs, nature lovers tracking bighorn sheep and rock hounds ever searching for
that perfect specimen of blue tourmaline.
Anza RV Resort welcomes these modern explorers
or refugees from smog bound megalopolis with its facilities for camping, RV hook-ups
and mobile home emplacements.
This Print out was provided by linkline.com/personal/shoe6/anza/timeline.html And
Complimentary distributed by Crist Real Estate for the education of our new clients
in the Anza/Aguanga Area.
John S. McGroarty. California, Its History and Romance. Grafton: Los Angeles. 1911.High
Country Magazine #8, winter 1968