A Century History Of The Santa Monica Bay Cities - Luther A. Ingersoll - ebook

A Century History Of The Santa Monica Bay Cities ebook

Luther A. Ingersoll



Ingersoll's book basically consists of three parts: the first and second parts offer a brief history of California and Los Angeles county and are given as a preface to the local history in order that the reader may have a connected story from the date of the discovery of the country. Included here are also sketches of each of the twenty-one Franciscan missions of Alta California. The third and final part deals with the history of the Santa Monica Bay cities and shows their growth and expansion through the years.

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A Century History Of The Santa Monica Bay Cities


A Century History Of The Santa Monica Bay Cities, L. A. Ingersoll

Jazzybee Verlag Jürgen Beck

86450 Altenmünster, Loschberg 9



ISBN: 9783849648589



[email protected]







CHAPTER II. Colonization.1

CHAPTER III. The Mission Establishments.1








Condensed History of Los Angeles County.1







History of Santa Monica Bay Cities.1




CHAPTER IV. GROWTH. 1890-1900.1














THE publication of this book is in no degree an accident, but rather the partial fulfillment of a long-cherished plan to sometime put in permanent and fitting form the annals of some of the more historic and romantic cities and towns of Southern California. This ambition dates back to the winter season of 1888-9, when the writer arrived in the " Golden State ", became impressed with the transcendent richness of its past history and its abundant promise of future growth and history-making. What might have been regarded, at the time, a fancy, or inspiration, has, with the rapid passing of two decades, developed into a vivid reality. Obscure hamlets have become prosperous cities; where then were open stock ranges and broad fields of grain, have sprung up marts of trade and commerce, environed by progressive and prosperous communities. Enough time has elapsed for these cities and communities to have acquired a history, still not enough for any considerable portion of that history to be lost. A few years hence, conditions in this latter respect will have entirely changed.

The region of country of which this story treats lies within the original confines of four Spanish-Mexican land grants bordering the bay of Santa Monica and has hitherto received scant attention from historical writers. When the good works of Hubert Howe Bancroft and Judge Theodore H. Hittell were written the wonderful developments of the past twenty years had not transpired and the work of more recent writers has been of so superficial a nature as not to be of special historical value.

The writing of history is not the thought or work of a day, but rather the diligent pursuance of a fixed and determined purpose. The writer of fiction may work from an inspiration based upon fertile imagination: the newspaper writer is the chronicler of current events; the descriptive writer of travel pictures that which he then and there observes; but the historian makes a truthful record of the past, stating only that which has actually transpired. He indulges in no ideals, must be keen in discrimination, never self-opinionated or self-assertive, must be untiring in research, a faithful, patient, plodding gleaner of facts and an inherent lover of the truth. Lacking these virtues he is without his calling.

The brief history of California and Los Angeles county is herewith given as a preface to the local history in order that the reader may have a connected story from the date of the discovery of the country. The state chapters are, with the exception of some changes and additions, reprinted from my " Century Annals of San Bernardino County, California (1904.)" The sketches of each of the twenty-one Franciscan missions of Alta California are adapted from "Missions and Landmarks ", a meritorious booklet written and in 1903 published by Airs. Armitage S. C. Forbes, a zealous student and authoritative writer upon California missions and kindred subjects.

The information utilized in the production of the history of Los Angeles county and the Santa Monica Bay Cities has been gleaned from numerous sources, prolific of which have been the works of Hubert Howe Bancroft, Theodore H. Hittell, History of Los Angeles County, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, 1890, Resources of California, by the lamented Charles Nordhoff; Reminiscences of A. Ranger, by Major Horace Bell; California Blue Books, old maps and numerous old legal documents. Acknowledgments are clue Editor D. G. Holt for the loan of complete files of his Santa Monica Outlook. Old files of the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Herald and the Evening Express have all reflected light upon scenes and events of earlier days. Archives of the city of Santa Monica, of the city and the county of Los Angeles, have been freely drawn upon. Files of old legal documents and old court records have been a great aid in shaping and verifying the histories of land grants.

The biographical matter with which the general historical chapters are supplemented will prove a valuable feature of this work. It permanently records so much of the personal experience of those who have contributed to the development of this country and have borne an honorable part in the direction of its public affairs as to constitute a fairly comprehensive encyclopedia of local biographical reference. Much careful labor has been bestowed upon the compiling of these sketches. The information has been gathered from published books, magazines and newspapers, by personal interviews with the subjects thereof, and relatives of those who have passed away.

A somewhat rigid system of submitting these articles to persons from whom original information was obtained, has been pursued, for the purpose of assuring accuracy. In doing this, use was made of the U.S. mail. In some instances these sketches have not been returned to me corrected and in such cases errors may appear, for which I must disclaim responsibility. The printing of these sketches has not in any instance been made contingent upon the payment of money or in any other form, the support of my enterprise. Neither have they been written for the purpose of gratifying a desire of any person to appear conspicuously in print. I have studiously refrained from writing eulogies upon the lives of living people. Such form of alleged biography invades the field of commercialism to such an extent as to render it worthless as history. The histories of churches and fraternal organizations is by no means as complete as I desire, because the necessary data was not obtainable. It would have been impossible to illustrate this volume so liberally only for the public spirit of people who have in many instances shared with me the burden of expense. The labor and money expended in the production of this book has been a secondary consideration, and to place in the hands of a reading public a reliable and dignified historical story has been paramount in the author's mind.


Luther A. Ingersoll, Santa Monica, California, Dec. 1st, 1908


Romance enters into the story of California with its very beginning. When Gondalez de Sandoval, in 1524, gave to Cortes an account of a wonderful island ten days to the westward from the Pacific Coast of Mexico, inhabited by women only and exceedingly rich in pearls and gold, he no doubt derived his information from Alontalvo's romance, " Sergas de Esplandian." Cortes seems to have given credence to his lieutenant's story and to have kept in view the discovery of this wonderful island, California. The discovery of what is now known as the peninsula of Lower California, but which was then supposed to be an island, by Fortuna Jiminez, in 1534, no doubt confirmed in Cortes' mind the truth of Sandoval's story, told him a decade before. For did not the island of Jiminez, like the island of Montalvo's fiction, lie on the right hand of the Indies, or where the Indies were then supposed to be? Pearls were found on it and gold and the Amazons must be there, too.

Fortuna Jiminez, the discoverer of Lower California, was chief pilot on one of the ships which Cortes, in 1533, fitted out to explore the northwest coast of Alexico. A mutiny broke out on the ship commanded by Piecerro de Mendoza. He was killed and his friends forced to go on shore at Jalisco. The mutineers, commanded by Jiminez, sailed westerly away from the coast of the mainland. After several days of sailing out of sight of the main land, they discovered what they supposed to be an island and landed at what is now known as La Paz, in Lower California. There Jiminez and twenty of his followers were killed by the Indians; the few survivors of the ill-fated crew managed to navigate the vessel back to Jalisco, where they reported the discovery of an island rich in pearls.

Cortes, hearing the report and probably believing the island to be the California of the story, fitted out an expedition to colonize it. With three ships and a number of soldiers and settlers, he landed in May, 1535, at the place where Jiminez was killed, which he named Santa Cruz; but instead of an island peopled with women who lived after the manner of Amazons and whose arms and trappings were made of gold, he found a sterile country inhabited by the most abject and degraded of beings. Disaster after disaster fell upon the unfortunate colony. Some of the ships sent to bring supplies were wrecked and others driven out of their course. Some of the colonists died from starvation before the supplies reached them and others from over-eating afterwards. After two years of struggling against misfortune, Cortes abandoned the attempt and the wretched colonists were brought back to Mexico. Thus ended the first effort to colonize California.

Some time between 1535 and 1537 the name California was applied to the land still supposed to be an island; but whether Cortes applied it in the hope of encouraging his colonists or whether the country was so named in derision, is not known. The name was subsequently applied to all the land along the Pacific Coast northward to 42 degrees, the limit of the Spanish possessions.

The vast unexplored regions to the northward of that portion of Mexico which he had conquered had a fascination for Cortes. He dreamed of finding in them empires vaster and richer than those he had already subdued. For years he fitted out expeditions by sea and by land to explore this terra incognita; but failure after failure wrecked his hopes and impoverished his purse. The last of the parties was the one commanded by Francisco de Ulloa, who in 1539 sailed up the Gulf of California on the Sonora side to its head, and then down the inner coast of Lower California to the cape at its extremity, which he doubled and sailed thence northward to Cabo de Engano (Cape of Deceit.) Here the two vessels of the expedition, after being tossed and buffeted by head winds, parted company in a storm. The smaller returned to Santiago. Of the other which was directly under Ulloa's command, nothing is definitely known — nor of Ulloa's fate. The only thing accomplished by this voyage was to demonstrate that California was a peninsula, although even this fact was not fully accepted for two centuries after this. Cortes returned to Spain in 1540, where after vainly trying to obtain from the King some recognition of his services and some recompense for his outlay, he died — a disappointed and impoverished man.

The next voyage which had anything to do with the discovery and exploration of California was that of Hernando de Alarcon. With two ships he sailed from Acapulco, May 9, 1540, up the Gulf of California. His object was to cooperate with Coronado. The latter, with an army of 400 men. had marched from Culiscan, April 22, 1540, to discover and conquer the "Seven Cities of Cibola," which the romancing friar, Marcos de Niza, "led by the Holy Ghost" and blessed with a fertile imagination, claimed to have seen somewhere in the wilds of what is now Arizona. Alarcon, at the head of the gulf, discovered the mouth of a great river. Up this stream, which he named Buena Guia — now the Colorado — he claimed to have sailed eighty-five leagues. He was probably the first white man to set foot in the territory now included in the State of California.

While Coronado was still absent in search of the Seven Cities, and of Quivera, a country rich in gold, lying somewhere in the interior of the continent, the successor of Cortes entered into a compact with Pedro de Alvarado, Governor of Guatemala, who had a fleet of ships lying at anchor in the harbor of Natividad, Mexico, to unite their forces in an extensive scheme of exploration and conquest. An insurrection broke out among the Indians of Jalisco and in trying to suppress it Alvarado was killed. The return of Coronado dispelled the myths of Cibola and Quivera and put an end, for the time, to further exploration of the interior regions to the north of Mexico.

On the death of Alvarado, his successor, Mendoza, placed five ships under the command of Ruy Lopez de Villalobas and sent them to the Islas de Poniente (Isles of the Setting Sun — now Philippines) to establish trade. Two ships of the fleet, under the command of Juan Roderiguez Cabrillo, were sent to explore the northwest coast of the Pacific. He sailed from Natividad June 27, 1542; on August 30th they reached Cabo de Engano, the most northern point of Ulloa's exploration. Continuing his voyage along the coast, he discovered a number of bays and islands. On Sept.23, 1542, Cabrillo entered a fine bay called by him San Miguel, now San Diego Bay. After three days further sailing he sighted the islands which he named San Salvador and Vitoria, after his vessels, now Catalina and San Clemente. From these islands he crossed to the mainland on Oct. 8th and entered a bay which he named Bahia de los Fumos (Bay of Smokes), now San Pedro Bay. After entering a bight, supposed to have been Santa Monica, he continued northwestward, passed through the Santa Barbara channel and discovered the islands of Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel. Going on up the coast, he found a long narrow point of land extending into the sea, which from its resemblance to a galley boat, he called Cabo de la Galeria, now Point Conception. November 17th he doubled Point of Pines and entered Monterey Bay, which he called Bahia de los Pinos (Bay of Pines.) Finding it impossible to land on account of the heavy seas, he proceeded northward until he reached 40 degrees, north latitude, as he estimated. On account of cold weather and storms he turned back and ran down to San Miguel, where he decided to winter. Here, from the effects of a fall, he died Jan. 3, 1543, and was buried on the island. His companions renamed the island Juan Roderiguez, after their brave commander; but he did not retain even this small honor. The discoverer of California sleeps in an unknown grave.

The command devolved on the chief pilot, Bartolome Ferrelo, who prosecuted the voyage with a courage and daring equal to that shown by Cabrillo. On Feb. 28th, he discovered a point of land which he named Cape Mendocino in honor of the Viceroy. Passing this cape, he encountered a furious storm, which drove him violently to the northeast and greatly endangered his ships. On March 1st the fogs lifted and he saw Cape Blanco in the southern part of what is now Oregon. The weather continuing stormy and the cold increasing, Ferrelo was compelled to turn back. Off the coast of San Clemente the ships were driven apart and did not come together again until they reached the Cerros Islands. In sore distress for provisions they arrived at Natividad, April 18, 1543.

The next navigator who visited California was Sir Francis Drake, an Englishman. He was not so much seeking new lands as trying to find a way of escape from capture by the Spanish. Francis Drake, the sea-king of Devon and one of the bravest of men, sailed from Plymouth Dec. 13, 1577, in command of a fleet of five small vessels on a privateering expedition against the Spanish settlements of the Pacific Coast. When he sailed out of the Straits of Magellan into the South Sea, he had but one ship left, all the others had been lost or had turned back. With this small vessel he began a career of plundering among the Spanish settlements that for boldness, daring and success has had no equal in the world's history.. The quaint chronicler of the voyage sums up the proceeds of his raids at "eight hundred and sixty-five thousand pesos of silver, a hundred thousand pounds of gold and other things of great worth." Plundering as he moved, he reached the port of Guatulco on the coast of Oaxaca. Surfeited with spoils and with his ship laden to her fullest capacity, it became a necessity for him to find a new way home. In the language of the chronicler, "He thought it was not good to return by the straits, lest the Spaniards should attend for him in great numbers." So he sailed away to the northward to find the Straits of Anian, which were supposed to connect the North Pacific with the Atlantic. For two hundred years after the discovery of America, navigators searched for that mythical passage. Drake, keeping well out to sea, sailed northward for two months. The cold, the head winds and the leaky condition of his craft compelled him to turn back and he sailed down the coast until he found a safe harbor under the lee of a promontory, now Point Reyes. Here he repaired his ship, took formal possession of the country in the name of his sovereign. Queen Elizabeth, and named it New Albion, from a fancied resemblance to his homeland. He had his chaplain, Parson Fletcher, preach a sermon to the natives; this did not greatly impress them, we are told, but they took delight in the psalm singing. After a stay of thirty-six days, on July 23d, 1579, Drake sailed for England and after nearly three years of absence, during which he had circumnavigated the globe, he reached home safely and was knighted by Elizabeth.

Sixty years passed after Cabrillo's voyage before another Spanish explorer visited California. The chief object of Sebastian Viscaino's voyage was to find a harbor of refuge for the Philippine galleons. These vessels on their return voyage sailed northward until they struck the Japan current, which they followed across the ocean until they reached the vicinity of Cape Mendocino, then sailed along the coast to Acapulco. Viscaino started from Acapulco May 5, 1602, with three ships and 160 men. Following substantially the course that Cabrillo had taken, he anchored in Cabrillo's Bay of San Miguel, which he called San Diego, in honor of his flagship. He remained there ten days, then proceeded up the coast and on the 26th anchored in a bay which he called Ensenada de San Andreas, now San Pedro. He visited Cabrillo's San Salvador, to which he gave the present name of Santa Catalina and changed the name of Vitoria to San Clemente. He gave the name of Santa Barbara to that channel and visited the channel islands. He saw many towns on the mainland and the natives came off in their canoes and visited the vessels. On Dec. 16th, Viscaino entered Monterey Bay, as he named it in honor of the Viceroy who had fitted out the expedition. The scurvy had broken out on ship and sixteen men were already dead. The San Tomas was sent back to Acapulco with the sick; with his two remaining vessels Viscaino continued his voyage northward, reaching Cape Blanco. But at this point he, too, was compelled to turn backward. The scurvy had made fearful inroads on his crews and after eleven months' absence, Viscaino reached Mazlatan, having lost nearly half of his crew. He wrote the King a glowing account of the Bay of Monterey and the surrounding country, which he pictured as almost a terrestrial paradise. His object was to induce the King to establish a settlement on Monterey Bay. In this he was doomed to disappointment; delay followed delay until hope vanished. Finally, in 1606, orders came from Philip III to the Viceroy to fit out immediately an expedition for the occupation and settlement of Monterey, of which Viscaino was to be the commander. In the midst of his preparations for carrying out the dearest object of his life, Viscaino died and the expedition was abandoned. Had it not been for the untimely death of this explorer, a colony would have been planted upon the Pacific coast of California, a year before the first settlement was made on the Atlantic coast of North America.

Two hundred and twenty-seven years had passed since the ships of Cabrillo had first cut the waters that lap the shores of Alta California and yet through all these years the interior of the vast country whose seacoast he had visited remained unknown. For more than two centuries the Manila galleons had sailed down the coast on their return voyage from the islands; yet after the death of Viscaino no other attempt had been made to find a refuge on the California coast for the storm tossed and scurvy afflicted mariners of the Philippine trade.

CHAPTER II. Colonization.

THE Jesuits began their work among the degraded inhabitants of Lower California in 1697. Under their devoted leaders, Salvatierra, Kino, Ugarte, Piccolo, and their successors, they had founded sixteen missions upon the peninsula. Father Kino, besides his missionary labors, had made, between 1697 and 1702, explorations around the head of the Gulf of California and up the Colorado to the mouth of the Gila, which had clearly demonstrated that the peninsula was a part of the mainland instead of an island as at first believed. Father Kino formed the design of establishing a chain of missions around the head of the gulf and down the inner coast to Cape San Lucas; but did not live to complete his ambitious project. The Jesuit missions of Baja California never grew rich in flocks and herds. The country was barren and the few fertile valleys around the missions gave the padres and neophytes, at best, but a frugal return for their labors.

For years there had been growing up in Spain a strong hostility to the Jesuits which finally resulted in the issuance of a decree by Carlos III, in 1767, banishing the order from that country and from its American possessions. Without previous warning, the monks in Lower California were compelled to abandon their missions and were hurried from the country. At the head of the Franciscan order, to whom the abandoned missions were turned over, came Father Junipero Serra, a man of indomitable will and energy. Don Jose Galvez, visitador-general of New Spain, had been sent to the peninsula to regulate affairs — both secular and ecclesiastical, which had been thrown into disorder by the sudden expulsion of the Jesuits. He also received orders to advance the scheme for the occupation of San Diego and Monterey harbors and the colonization of "Nueva California." Galvez, as soon as he had somewhat systematized matters on the peninsula, set vigorously to work to further the project of occupying the northern territory. Father Serra entered heartily into his plans and church and state worked together harmoniously.

Galvez decided to fit out four expeditions — two by sea and two by land. These were to start at different dates, but were all to unite at San Diego Bay and after occupying that territory, pass on to the harbor of Monterey. On Jan. 9, 1769, the San Carlos sailed from La Paz with sixty-five persons on board, twenty-five of whom were soldiers under Lieutenant Fages. She carried supplies for eight months. On the 13th of February, the San Antonio sailed from Cape S. Lucas, with two friars and a few mechanics on board. The first land expedition started from Velicata, the most northern settlement in Lower California, March 24th. It was commanded by Rivera y Aloncada and consisted of twenty-five soldiers, forty-two natives, with Padres Crespi and Canizares. The last expedition, which was under the immediate command of Caspar de Portala, Governor of the Californias, left Velicata May 15th. It consisted of ten soldiers, with a band of Lower Californians, and was accompanied by Father Serra.

The San Antonio, although the last to sail, was the first to arrive at its destination, casting anchor in San Diego Bay, April 11, 1769. The San Carlos, after a most disastrous voyage, drifted into the bay on April 29th. The crew were prostrated with scurvy and it was with difficulty that a boat was manned to go ashore. The sick were landed, but when the scourge had run its course, few were left. Moncada's land expedition, after an uneventful march, reached San Diego May 14th. On the first day of July Portala's command arrived and the four divisions, aggregating 126 persons who were expected to remain in the country, were united. The ravages of scurvy had so depleted the crews of the two vessels that only enough men remained to man one vessel. The San Antonio was sent back to San Bias for supplies and another crew for the San Carlos. A third vessel, the San Jose, had been fitted out by Galvez and loaded with supplies for the missionaries; but she was never heard from after the day of sailing.

On July 16th, Father Serra formally founded the first mission in Nueva California, which was dedicated to San Diego de Alcala — St. James of Alcala — a Franciscan friar who died in 1463 and was canonized in 15S8. On July 14th Governor Portala, with Padres Crespi and Gomez and a force made up of soldiers and Indians of Lower California, numbering in all sixty-five persons, set out from San Diego to go overland to Monterey Bay and there found the intended mission and settlement. The route of the expedition was mainly along the coast, with an occasional divergence inland. On August 2nd they camped on the future site of Los Angeles. Along the coast of Santa Barbara channel they found populous Indian villages and were everywhere welcomed by the natives of the country. The explorers passed by Monterey Bay without recognizing it from the description of Viscaino, and traveled along the coast to the north. On Nov. 2nd some of the hunters of the party climbed a hill and saw an "arm of the sea." This was the body of water we now know as San Francisco Bay. Their provisions were exhausted and many were sick. In consequence it was decided to turn back and the party reached San Diego again in January, 1770. Portala's expedition had failed in its object to found a mission on the bay of Monterey, but it had accomplished a far greater feat — it had discovered San Francisco Bay.

In April, 1770, Portala again set out for Monterey, with a force of twenty-five soldiers and natives. At the same time Father Serra sailed on the San Antonio for the bay. On June 3, 1770, the mission of San Carlos Borremeo de Monterey was formally established on the beach, with solemn ceremonies, accompanied by the ringing of bells and the crack of musketry and roar of cannon. Father Serra conducted the services and Governor Portala took possession of the country in the name of the King of Spain, Carlos III. A presidio or fort of palisades was erected and a few huts built. Portala, having formed the nucleus of a settlement, turned over the command of the territory to Fages and sailed to Lower California on the San Antonio. This was the end of his term as Governor.

Presidios and Pueblos.

For the protection of the missions and to prevent foreigners from entering California, military posts, called presidios, were established at San Diego, Monterey, Santa Barbara and San Francisco. These enclosures were in the form of a square and were surrounded by adobe walls ten or twelve feet high. Within were the officers' quarters, the barracks for the soldiers, a guard house, chapel, granaries, and storehouses. A military force, usually consisting of one company, was stationed at each post under the command of a colonel or lieutenant. The largest force was kept at Monterey, the capital of the territory. The Governor, or commandante-general who, under Spanish rule was always an army officer, was commander-in-chief of the troops in the territory. The principal service of the soldiers was to keep in check the neophytes, to protect the missions from the incursions of the "gentiles," as the wild Indians were known, and to capture neophytes who had escaped to their unconverted relatives.

The mission fathers were opposed to the colonization of the country by white people. They well knew that the bringing of a superior race of people into contact with the lower would result in the demoralization of the inferior race. As rapidly as they could found missions, they arrogated to themselves all the choice lands within the vicinity of each establishment. A settler could not obtain a grant of land from the public domain if the padres of the nearest mission opposed the action. The difficulty of obtaining supplies from Mexico for the soldiers of the presidios, necessitated the founding of agricultural colonies. Previous to 1776 the Governor of "Las Californias" as the country from Cape San Lucas to the most northern point of the Spanish possessions was known, resided at Loreto, in Lower California. In that year the territory was divided into two districts and a governor appointed for each. Felipe de Neve was made Governor of Nueva California, of which Monterey was designated as the capital, and Rivera y Moncada was appointed Governor of Lower California to reside at Loreto.

Hitherto all expeditions to Nueva California had come either by the coast route, up the peninsula, or by sea. In 1774 Captain Juan Bautista de Anza, commander of the Tubac presidio of Sonora, was ordered to explore a route by way of the Gila and Colorado rivers overland to Monterey. With a party of thirty-four men, he made the Jornada, crossing the desert, entering the San Bernardino Valley through the San Gorgonio Pass and reaching San Gabriel. On his return to Sonora, he recruited a second expedition composed of soldiers, settlers and their families — in all over three hundred persons, who were designed to found a mission and a presidio on San Francisco Bay. After a long and toilsome journey this party reached California in 1776. On the 17th of September 1776, the presidio of San Francisco was formally established and on October 9th the mission, christened for the founder of the Franciscan order, was founded.

Governor de Neve, on his journey overland in 1777 from Loreto to Monterey, was instructed to examine the country from San Diego northward and select locations for agricultural settlements. He chose two colony sites, one on the Rio de Porciuncula, where Portala's expedition had camped in 1769 and to which he had given the name of "Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles," and the other on the Rio de Guadalupe in the northern section of the territory. Here, Nov. 29, 1777, Governor de Neve founded the Pueblo de San Jose. The colonists were nine soldiers from the presidios of Monterey and San Francisco and five settlers of Anza's expedition. These, with their families, made a total of sixty-six. The site of the pueblo was about a mile north of the present city of San Jose. Each settler was given a tract of irrigable land, a soldier's rations and ten dollars per month. Each head of a family received a yoke of oxen, two horses, two cows, a mule, two sheep and two goats, a few farming implements and seed for the first sowing. The colonists were to reimburse the royal treasury for all the articles furnished them except their rations and monthly pay, the payments to be made in installments from the products of their industry.

The Spanish government had an elaborate code of laws governing the establishment and management of pueblos. These were applied with small modification to all new pueblos, whatever their location and conditions. Each pueblo must contain four square leagues of land, which was divided into planting fields, allotted to the colonists: lands retained by the municipality for renting: a common pasture for the use of all, and a portion of land reserved for the state, used for raising revenues. Food and water were communal property. The pueblo was governed by a semi-civil, semi-military official known as the comisionado. There was also an alcalde, who was a mayor and petty judge. A guard of soldiers were kept at the guard house, partly for protection against the Indians and partly to preserve the peace in the pueblo.

In 1779 Rivera y Moncada, the Governor of Lower California, was instructed to recruit in Sonora and Sinaloa settlers for the founding of a pueblo on the Rio Porciuncula and soldiers for the founding of a presidio and mission on the Santa Barbara channel. The settlers were to receive each $106.50 for two years and $60 for the next three years, the payment to be in clothing and other necessary articles at cost price; also live stock, farming implements and seeds. These liberal offers secured but few recruits and those of poor quality. After a year Rivera had obtained but fourteen settlers. Two of these deserted before the company left Sonora and one was left behind at Loreto when, in April, 1781, the expedition began to march up the peninsula. The colonists under command of Lieut. Zuniga arrived at San Gabriel, August 18th, where they remained until Sept. 4th. The eleven settlers and their families — forty-four persons in all, escorted by Gov. de Neve and a small guard of soldiers and accompanied by the priests of San Gabriel Mission, on Sept. 4, 1781, proceeded to the site previously selected for the pueblo. This was on the right bank of the Rio Porciuncula near the spot where Portala's explorers had celebrated the feast of Nuesta Senora de Los Angeles de Porciuncula, from which circumstances was derived the name of the pueblo and the river. A plaza, seventy-five by one hundred varas was laid off on the mesa above the river as the center of the settlement. A mass was said by the priests of the mission, a procession was formed and marched around the plaza, the soldiers bearing the imperial standard of Spain and the women the image of "Our Lady of the Angels." The priests blessed the plaza and the house lots. The services over, the Governor and his escort took their departure and the colonists were left to work out their destiny. Another pueblo called Branciforte was founded in 1797 near Santa Cruz, but never prospered. The settlers were discharged soldiers, unused to labor and averse to acquiring industrious habits.

A few grants of land were made to private citizens, but substantially, during the Spanish era, all the land outside of the pueblos used for grazing or for cultivation was held by the missions. The commerce of California at this period was limited to the ships of the missions which usually came twice a year from San Bias with supplies for the missions and presidios and took away the few commercial products of the country, such as otter skins, hides and tallow of cattle. About 1800 the American smugglers began to come to the coast. The vessels engaged in this trade were principally from Boston and were fast sailing craft. They exchanged Yankee notions for otter skins. The authorities tried to suppress this illicit traffic, but were not often successful, as the vessels were heavily armed and when not able to escape the revenue officers, by speed or strategem, were not averse to fighting their way out.

Of the long and bloody struggle for Mexican independence, beginning with the insurrection led by the patriot priest, Hidalgo, in 1810, and continuing under various leaders for eleven years, but little was known in California. The men who filled the office of territorial governor during the years of the fratricidal struggle — Arrilliga, Argũella and Sola, were royalists and so were the mission padres, nearly all of whom were Spanish born. The soldiers and the common people knew but little about what was going on in the world beyond and cared less.

The one event that disturbed the placidity of life during the closing years of the Spanish rule was the appearance on the coast of Bouchard, the privateer, with two frigates heavily armed. Bouchard was a Frenchman cruising under letters of Marque from the insurgent government of Buenos Ayres, against the Spanish. He entered the harbor of Monterey, Nov. 21, 1818, probably to obtain supplies, but being coldly received, he fired upon the fort. The Californians made a brave resistance, but were finally overpowered. Bouchard sacked and burned the town. He next appeared at Ortega's Rancho, where he burned the buildings. Here the Californians captured three prisoners, who were exchanged next day when Bouchard anchored off Santa Barbara for one Californian whom the insurgents had captured at Monterey. Bouchard next visited San Juan Capistrano. where his "pirates" drank the padres' wine, then he took his departure from California. Four of Bouchard's men were left and became permanent residents — Joseph Chapman, an American, and Fisher, a negro, who were captured at Monterey: and John Ross, a Scotchman, and Jose Pascual, a negro, who deserted at San Juan. Chapman was the first American resident of Southern California. He married Guadalupe Ortega, a daughter of the owner of the Refugio Rancho which was plundered by the insurgents, and settled at the mission San Gabriel. He built there the first flour mill erected in California.

The war of Mexican Independence caused hard times in California. The soldiers received no pay and the mission supply ships came at long intervals. Money was almost an unknown quantity. There were products to sell, but no one to sell them to except an occasional smuggler, or a tallow ship from Peru.

CHAPTER III. The Mission Establishments.

IT WAS not the intention of the Spanish government that the mission establishments should continue permanently as missions. According to the law, at the end of ten years from its founding each mission was to be converted into a municipal organization, known as a pueblo, or town; and the property of the mission, both personal and real, was to be sub-divided among the neophytes of the establishment. But the training which the natives received did not fit them for self-government. They were forced to labor and were instructed in many branches of industry, as well as in the religious ceremonials; but they received no intellectual training and they made little progress toward self-control. The padres persistently urged that the neophytes were incompetent to use and manage property, and during the time that California was subject to Spain no attempt was made to carry out the law and secularize the missions.

In form, the different missions resembled one another. Col. J. J. Warner, thus describes the general form: "A large pile of buildings in the form of a quadrangle, composed partly of burnt brick, but chiefly of sun-dried ones, was erected around a spacious court. A large and capacious church, usually occupying one corner of the quadrangle, was a conspicuous part of the pile. In these buildings, which were covered with red tile, was the habitation of the friars, rooms for guests and for the major-domos and their families, hospital wards, storehouses and granaries."

A guard of four or five soldiers was kept at each mission to control the neophytes. Each establishment held possession of large tracts of land, contiguous to its buildings. These were divided into ranches, over which roamed large herds and flocks under the charge of Indian vaqueros. The neophytes for the most part were docile and easily managed, and some of the brighter ones were taught mechanical trades and became fairly good blacksmiths, weavers, tanners, shoemakers, saddlers, brick-makers, etc. They certainly accomplished a large amount of labor under the padres and proved themselves capable, with proper supervision, of supporting themselves — and producing a large surplus for the benefit of the church.

The history and present condition of each mission is here presented.


"The first Apostle of California," Father Junipero Serra, was a humble friar of the Franciscan order when, in 1767, he was appointed presidente general of the missions of the Californias, in charge of the missions of Lower California, and with orders to establish new missions in Upper California. Filled with zeal for the salvation of souls, he prepared with great rejoicing and with excellent good sense, as well, to enter new territory. For sixteen years he labored incessantly, travelling up and down the coast and visiting the City of Mexico, although he was afflicted with an incurable disease and so lame that he could not move without suffering. He founded nine missions before his death, at which five thousand natives had been baptized.

Less than a year before he died, he made his last journey from San Diego to Monterey, visiting each of the missions, journeying on foot, sleeping on the ground, although he was so ill that no one believed he would live to complete the trip. Fie was most ascetic in his habits, never eating meat; sleeping upon rough boards, and spending most of the night in prayer: Palou relates that four days before his death an old Indian woman came to visit the holy father and with his own hand he gave her a blanket. After his death they found that it was half of his own blanket that he had given.

Father Serra was born on the Island of Majorca in 1713: he died at San Carlos Mission, August 29, 1784, and was buried in the church to which he had given so much of his love and thought.

To Junipero Serra and his noble band of assistants California owes the existence of her mission ruins; but she also owes to these simple, hard-working friars, the beginnings of her industries, the nomenclature of her geography, the distinctiveness of her architecture and the civilization of her savages.


The Mission San Diego de Alcala (Saint James of Alcala), was founded July 16, 1769, by Father Junipero Serra, on an eminence overlooking the Bay of San Diego. A temporary altar was erected beneath the branches of a tree from which bells were swung and loudly rung. Water was blessed, the cross raised, high mass was sung by Father Junipero. The services were attended by the officers and soldiers from the ships and the land forces; the royal standard was unfurled and the country was formally occupied in the name of Carlos III.

Several huts were erected, one of which was used as a chapel. The Indians at no time very friendly, became hostile, and on August 15, 1769, made an attack upon the mission, but were repulsed, and a stockade was immediately erected around the camp.

In 1771 Fathers Luis Jayme and Francisco Dumetz came from Mexico and were placed in charge of the mission. In 1774 the location was changed to a point about seven miles up the Valley of the San Diego river. A wooden church was constructed, 18x57 feet in size, roofed with tules, three small adobe buildings used for a store, a blacksmith shop and a dwelling. In 1775 new buildings were erected and a well dug. A ferocious attack was made upon the settlement by the Indians on the night of November 4th, 1775, all the buildings being destroyed and Father Jayme murdered. His body was found naked with twenty arrow wounds in the breast. Jose Manuel Arroyo, the blacksmith, and the carpenter Ursulino were also killed. All three were buried in the chapel at the Presidio. Fathers de la Peña and Fuster resumed the mission work, holding services at the Presidio. A new church, strengthened with heavy pine timbers and otherwise improved was completed in 1780. A report on the condition of San Diego Mission was given by Father Lasuen, in 1783, is as follows: "A church, 90x17x17; a granary, 75x161/2 feet; a store-house; a house for sick women; sheds for wood and oxen; two horses for the fathers; a house for sick men; a larder; a guests' room and a kitchen." All were of adobe and with the soldiers' barracks these buildings formed three sides of a quadrangle of 165 feet. The fourth side consisted of an adobe wall fifteen feet high. There was a vat for use in tanning hides, two adobe corrals for sheep and one for cows. These were outside the regular mission enclosure. The cabins of the neophytes were of wood and grass. At this time there were seven hundred and forty neophytes, under missionary care.

In 1793, a substantial granary of adobe, 96x24 feet, was built, and in 1795, the vineyard was surrounded with an adobe wall five hundred yards in length. This year saw also the commencement of an extensive system of irrigating ditches, remains of which can still be seen and constitute a valuable object lesson in ditch construction. About three miles of San Diego river was dammed back with a solid stone dam thirteen feet in thickness and coated with cement that became as solid as rock and remains so to this day. In the center of this dam was a gateway from which a stream of water, 12x24 inches, was carried through an aqueduct of tile and resting on a base of cobblestones and cement. This aqueduct for the major portion of the way was laid along the sides of a precipitous gorge and frequently crossed gulches from 15 to 20 feet wide, and as many feet deep.

On May 25th, 1803. an earthquake occurred which damaged the church. In 1804, a new church was begun. It was completed and dedicated November 12th, 1813. It is the ruins of this building that we see today. The remains of Fathers Jayme, Figuer and Mariner were transferred from their old resting place and buried in one grave, though in separate coffins, between the altars of the church. Father Jayme resting nearest the altar of the Blessed Virgin.

From the time of the establishment of San Diego in 1769 to 1834, the date of its secularization, there were 6638 persons baptized, 1879 marriages performed, and 4428 burials. In 1831, the mission owned 8822 head of cattle, 1192 horses and 16,661 head of sheep. There were 1506 Indians on the roll of the mission January 6th, 1846, when an inventory of the mission property was taken. In June of the same year the mission lands were sold to Santiago Argũello for past services to the United States government. His title was not, however, sustained and in accordance with a decision of the United States Land Commissioners, in 1856, based on the old Spanish law, that divided church property into two classes, sacred and ecclesiastical, and whereby sacred property could not be sold, San Diego Mission was returned to the church. " Sacred property" is defined as that which has been formally consecrated to God, such as churches, church buildings, vessels and vestments. The priests' houses and their gardens were thus included. According to this decision all church property that had been sold by Governor Pio Pico reverted to the church, while the ecclesiastic or mission lands were government property.

San Diego Mission has been in part restored by the Auxiliary to the Landmarks Club. The ruins of the old dam, the irrigating system and garden walls are to be seen. Many of the original trees of the olive orchard are still standing and productive. The old olive press is also there. Down at the old town of San Diego may be seen the ruins of the first Presidio buildings, relics of the century past. Two old mission bells hung suspended from a beam outside of one of the original buildings.


Mission San Carlos Borremeo de Monterey was founded June 3rd, 1770, on the inner shore of Monterey Bay, where the city of Monterey now stands, the exact location being marked with the statue of Junipero Serra, erected by the late Mrs. Jane Lathrop Stanford. Near the bay shore stands a cross, indicating the landing place of Fathers Serra and Crespi and near by is the old oak tree upon a branch of which they hung the bell, and under which the christening services were held. The Indians of that locality were more timorous than those of the South, and progress in gaining their confidence was somewhat slow, but within about three years, one hundred and seventy-five had been gathered into the church. The situation and surroundings were not satisfactory, however, and a few months later the mission was removed about five miles to the mouth of El Carmel river, on the beautiful Bay of Carmel, and while the mission was thereafter known as San Carlos el Carmello, it officially retained its original title.

At this new mission Fathers Serra and Crespi began the study of the Indian language. Rev. Father Juan Crespi was a native of Spain, being sixty-one years of age at the time of his decease, January 1st, 1783. He was buried near the main altar. It was here that Serra two years later passed away after a lingering illness, and his remains were laid beside those of Father Crespi.

It was not until July 7th, 1793, that the first stone of the new church was laid. It was built of soft, straw-colored stone, quarried near by, laid in lime made from sea-shells, gathered along the sea-beach, the roof being of red tiles. The church was dedicated in 1797, and the remains of this building, restored through the efforts of the Rev. Father Cassanova, pastor of Monterey, are to be seen today. On July 3rd, 1882, Father Cassanova opened the tombs. This was evidently done to reassure the world of the recorded fact that the sacred remains of those true disciples of Christ and pioneers of California, founders of the Missions, were there. At the services, the following entries from the parish records were read:

"Rev. Fr. Juan Crespi; born in Spain; died Jan. 1st, A. D. 1782, 61 years old, buried near the main altar, gospel side." "Rev. Fr. Junipero Serra, D. D., President of all the Missions; born in Majorca, Spain; died on the 28th of August, A. D. 1784, at the age of 71 years, buried in the Sanctuary, fronting the altar of Our Lady of Seven Dolores, on the gospel side." " Rev. Fr. Julian Lopez, born in Spain; died here on the 15th of July, A. D. 1797, aged 35 years; buried in the Sanctuary, on the gospel side, in the tomb near the wall on the left." "Rev. Fr. Francisco Lasuen, Vic. for Second President of the Missions, born in Spain, died here, and is buried in the Sanctuary, on the gospel side, in a stone tomb, near the main altar, June 28th, 1803."

The heavy stone slabs having been removed before the ceremony began, the coffin in each tomb was left visible. The lids of each was then raised and the people then viewed the remains of which only the clothing and the skeletons were seen. The tombs were then covered as before with the stone slabs. The coffins were of unplaned redwood boards, and all but that of Father Lasuen in a good state of preservation.

When the restoration of the old mission church was commenced in 1882, the tile roof had fallen in, the walls were crumbled, and grass had grown upon the tiled floor. The resting place of the founder of the California missions was completely obliterated.

Through the untiring efforts of Father Cassanova, and his band of sympathizers, the tomb of Serra and his beloved co-worker, Father Crespi, are in fairly good repair. Services are held here once a month by the resident priest of Monterey, and upon each occasion the old mission bell is rung.


The Mission San Antonio de Padua (Saint Anthony of Padua), now a mass of ruins, was founded by Father Junipero Serra, July 14, 1771, under most auspicious circumstances. The ringing of bells attracted an Indian, and instead of hiding in fear, he remained to witness the ceremony of dedication, and later brought his companions in large numbers to meet the missionaries.

This mission is located in a beautifully oak-studded glen, in the Santa Lucia Mountains, and near the Salinas River, in Monterey County. Father Serra named the valley Los Robles. The present ruins are those of the second church, which was built in the year 1809 or 1810, and was extended by adobe structures several times. The Indians assisted Fathers Buenaventura, Sitjar and Miguel Pieras in erecting the first temporary structure, which was unusual.

San Antonio became famous for its piety, prosperity and its splendid horses. In 1805 it had a population of 1261 neophytes. An inventory of property made in 1835, when the mission was secularized, showed the valuation of buildings and vineyards to be $90,000.00, but in 1845 it was invoiced at only $8,000.00, and the membership had declined to ten men and five women. Mrs. Forbes writes in 1904 that, "At present the roof of the mission building has fallen in and the last room is ready to collapse. The relics have all been stolen or removed to other places, with the exception of one iron kettle used by the Fathers in cooking soup for the Indians. Only one family of the original Indians of the Valley remain, and they live many miles from the mission. The tree upon which Father Serra hung the bell when the first chapel was founded still stands beside the road, leading up to the mission. Near by the mission flows Mission creek, a branch of the San Antonio river. In mission days the Padres constructed a dam across the river, and its water was diverted to irrigate the mission lands. At one time San Antonio rivaled San Juan Capistrano, San Luis Key and Santa Barbara in prosperity and importance. The buildings were extensive. Long cloisters, arches and broken walls and tiled roofs now remain to tell the story of architectural grandeur."


The Mission San Gabriel Archangel was founded September 8th, 1771, by Fathers Angel Somera and Pedro Benito Cambon. The first mission site was located about five miles south of the present mission on the bank of the San Gabriel (then San Miguel) river. The first chapel was of logs cut to length, the desired height of the building, then split in two and set upright in a trench or ditch. The roof was made of tules and adobe mud. The dwellings of the priests and attendants were enclosed with a stockade of similar construction which, however, was soon replaced with an adobe wall. Not a vestige of this first mission of San Gabriel remains, and it is even quite uncertain as to its exact location.

By reason of danger from floods, from the river's overflow, low-land frosts and poor drainage, the mission was moved to its present site, then as now, a most charming location, in the midst of a belt of live oak, on warm and responsive soil. The date of removal to the new site is unknown, but it must have been about 1775, since Junipero Serra in his second annual report of 1774 indicates his intention to move San Gabriel Mission a short distance and states that for that reason no permanent improvements had been made on the old site.

The stone church which is now the admiration of visitors was half finished in 1704, and had not been completed in 1800. It was first built with an arched roof, in which cracks soon appeared. When these were repaired an earthquake reopened them. The arched roof was then removed and a new roof of timbers and tiles substituted in 1804. The valley was fertile and Indians were numerous but were seemingly slow to embrace the religion of the Friars, since only seventy-three baptisms were recorded the first two years, up to the year 1800, there were, however, 1078 neophytes attached to the mission. There had been 1953 baptisms, 869 burials and 396 marriages performed. Once established on the new mission site affairs seemed to take on new life and enterprise and set the pace for those missions already established and those to be.

In 1806 Jose Marie Zalvidea, a man of great energy and executive ability, was transferred from San Fernando to San Gabriel. According to Hugo Reid:

" He it was, who planted the large vineyards, intersected with fine walks, shaded fruit trees of every description, and rendered still more lovely by shrubs interspersed between; who laid out the orange garden, fruit and olive orchards; built the mill and dam; made fences of tunas (cactus) round the fields; made hedges of rose bushes; planted trees in the mission square, with a flower garden and hour-dial in the center; brought water from long distances, etc. He also remodeled the existent system of government. Every article must henceforth be in place, and every man at his station. Everything under him was organized and that organization kept up with a lash! The people were now divided into classes and vocations. These included vaqueros, soap-makers, tanners, shoemakers, carpenters, blacksmiths, bakers, shepherds, poultry-keepers, pigeon-tenders, weavers, spinners, saddle-makers, store and key-keepers, deer hunters, deer and sheep-skin dressers, masons, plasterers, people of all work— everything but coopers, these were foreign; all the rest were native Indians.

" Large soap works were erected, tanning yards established, tallow works, bakery, cooper, blacksmith, carpenter and other shops. Large spinning rooms, where might be seen fifty or sixty women turning their spindles merrily, and looms for weaving wool, flax and cotton. Then large store rooms were allotted to the various articles, which were kept separate. For instance, wheat, barley, peas, beans, lentels, chick, peas, butter and cheese, soap, candles, wool, leather, flour, lime, salt, horse-hair, wine and spirits, fruit stores, etc., etc. Sugar-cane, flax and hemp were added to the other articles cultivated, but cotton wool was imported. " At an early period in the history of San Gabriel, a water-power mill, for grinding wheat, was constructed and put in operation in front of and near the mission building. At a later period, a new grist mill was built by the mission, and placed about two miles west of the mission proper. This was also operated by water-power. The building in which was placed the mill is still standing and is known as El Molino, the Spanish words for " The Mill." It is now the property of H. E. Huntington. A water-power saw-mill was also built by this mission, and was located near the last-mentioned grist-mill. These were the only mills made or used in California, either for grinding or sawing, in which water was the motive power, or in which a wheel was used, for more than half a century after the founding of the first mission. In these two gristmills, the revolving mill stone was upon the upper end of the vertical shaft, and the water-wheel upon the lower end, so that the revolution of the stone was no more frequent than that of the water-wheel. They did no grading or separating of the flour in these mills. This process, if done at all, was done with hand sieves."

" The principal ranchos belonging at that time to San Gabriel were San Pasqual, Santa Anita, Azusa, San Francisquito, Cucamonga, San Antonio, San Gorgonio, Yucaipa, Jurupa, Guapa, Rincon, Chino, San Jose, Ybarras, Puente, Mission Vieja, Serranos, Rosa Castillo, Coyotes, Jaboneria, Las Bolsas, Alamitos and Serritos.

" The principal head (Major-domo) commanded and superintended over all. Claudio Lopez was the famed one during Padre Zalvidea's administration, and although only executing the priest's plans, in the minds of the people he is the real hero Ask any one who made this, or who did that, and the answer on all sides is the same: 'El difunto Claudio!' Great credit is due him for carrying out without flogging the numerous works entrusted to him. There were a great many other major-domos under him for all kinds of work, from tending of horses down to those of superintending crops, and in charge of vineyards and gardens.

" Indian alcaldes were appointed annually by the padre, and chosen from among the very laziest in the community, he being of the opinion that they took more pleasure in making the others work than would industrious ones, and from my own observation this is correct. They carried a wand to denote their authority, and an immense scourge of rawhide about ten feet in length, plaited to the size of an ordinary man's wrist. They did a great deal of chastisement.

" The unmarried women and girls were kept as nuns, under the supervision of an abbess, who slept with them in a large room. Their occupations: sometimes they served, at others they cleaned weeds from out of the gardens with hoes, worked at the ditches or gathered in the crops. The best looking youths were kept as pages to attend at the tables and those of most musical talent were reserved for church service.

" The number of hogs was great. They were principally used for making soap. (The Indians, with a few exceptions, refused to eat pork.) Near the mission at San Francisquito (San Fernando Mission) were kept the turkeys of which they had large numbers. The dove-cote was alongside of the soap works, in an upper story, affording plenty of dung to cure leather and skins with.

" The padre had an idea that finery led Indians to run away, for which reason he never gave either men or women any other clothing (including skirts and petticoats) than coarse frieze (xerga) made by themselves, which kept the poor wretches all the time diseased with the itch. If any handkerchiefs or cotton goods were discovered among them the same were immediately committed to the flames. He was an inveterate enemy to drunkenness, and did all in his power to prevent it, but to no purpose. He never flogged, however, while the influence of liquor lasted, but put them into stocks, under the care of a guard until sober. Finding the lash, alone, was of no avail, he added warm water and salt to the dose, which was given as a drink until it ran out of the mouth again. It was no use. The disease was as incurable as consumption.