- Alameda County – Mission San Jose
- Humboldt County – Trinidad Head
- Imperial County – Mission La Purisima Concepcion – Mission San Pedro & San Pablo De Bicuñer
- Inyo County – Keane Wonder Mine & Aguereberry Point
- Kern County – Fages-Zalvidea Crossing & Errea House
- Noriega Hotel
- Los Angeles County – Point Fermin & Point Vicente
- Mission San Fernando Rey De España & Los Encinos State Historic Park
- El Molino Viejo (The Old Mill) & Leonis Adobe
- Leona Valley & Gless Farmhouse & Batz Rose Garden
- Marin County – Mission San Rafael Arcangel
- Orange County – Mission San Juan Capistrano
- First Winery in California & The Yorba and Casa Manuel García Adobes
- Riverside County – Anza & Anza Trail Monument-Anza Borrego Desert California State Park & Anza Crossing of the Santa Ana River, 1775 and 1776
- San Benito County – Mission San Juan Bautista &
- San Diego County – El Camino Real Located at Mission San Diego de Alcalà & Mission San Luis de Francia
- Casa de Aguirre Museum & Adobe Chapel of the Immaculate Conception & Casa De Pedrorena De Altamirano
- San Francisco County – Entrance of the San Carlos into San Francisco Bay & Presidio of San Francisco
- Mission San Francisco De Asis (Dolores) & Castillo De San Joaquin
- San Luis Obispo County – Landing Place of Pedro de Unamuno & Mission San Miguel Arcangel
- Santa Barbara County – Presidio of Santa Barbara & Mission Santa Barbara
- Mission la Purisima Concepcion & The Janssens-Orella-Birk Building
- Santa Clara County – Alviso Adobe
- Santa Cruz County – Mission Santa Cruz & Villa de Branciforte Site
- Arana Gulch & The Bayview Hotel & De Laveaga Park
- Sonoma County – Bodega Bay and Harbor
- The Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail
- Counties of the Eastern Sierra Nevada
Mission San Jose
Mission San José was founded by Father Fermín Lasuén (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1736 – Mission San Carlos, California, 1803) on June 11, 1797 on a site close to the natural trail from the Livermore Valley to the San Joaquin Valley. In a letter dated that same day, Lasuén detailed the proceedings to the governor Diego de Borica (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1742 – Durango, Nueva España, 1800):
“I wish to inform Your Lordship that on this day, Sunday the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, I blessed water, the grounds, and a large cross which we venerated and erected, in a beautiful place called Oroyjon by the natives, some of whom were present and showed themselves well pleased. The place is located between this mission and that of our father St. Francis, on the other side of the inlet, or arm of the sea which extends from that port. Immediately afterwards we sang the Litany of All Saints, and celebrated the holy sacrifice of the Mass in an enramada which we set up the preceding evening and decorated it from floor to roof with many different flowers. I preached a sermon to the troops and to the Christian Indians who had gathered there, and brought my portion of the function to an end by solemnly singing the Te Deum Laudamus.”
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 71000131
California Registered Historical Landmark – 334
Located at Mission Blvd. and Washington Blvd. Fremont
Coordinates: 37°31′58″N 121°55′10″W
Trinidad was so named by Bizkaian commandant Bruno Heceta y Dudagoitia (1744-1807) and his Basque-Peruvian born pilot Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra (Lima, 1743 – Mexico, 1794), who anchored their frigate in Trinidad Bay on June 9, 1775.
Heceta registered the moment in his diary:
“At one-thirty, I sighted three canoes of Indians who were diligently attempting to approach this ship. I shortened sail and they arrived, all naked and with their hair in disarray. In a short time they had exchanged with the sailors hide clothing that they had carried hidden. In a little while they pushed off and followed our course into the harbor, where I anchored at 3:30 in the afternoon shortly after the schooner.”
Two days later, on Trinity Sunday, Heceta claimed Trinidad Head for Spain in the name of King Charles III. His men and two Franciscan fathers erected a cross on the summit. The State monument is located at the Coast Guard Station south of town in the form of a granite cross placed by the Women’s Clubs of Humboldt County.
California Registered Historical Landmark – 146
Located at a rocky promontory surrounded by sea stacks sheltering Trinidad Harbor, adjacent to the town of Trinidad.
Coordinates: 41º 3′ 15.48″N 124º 9′ 3,6″W
Title: Colonial Expeditions to the Interior of California Central Valley, 1800-1820. Published 1960 by Sherburne Friend Cook. Released June 12, 2011 [eBook #36387] View Entire Book Here:
1 On July 20 the party went from Santa Ynez Mission- 283 – north to Jonatas, at Las Olivas, then to Saca on Alamo Pintado Cr. The next village, Olomosong, was probably on the Sisquoc R. near the 120th meridian. After 4 leagues further travel they reached Gecp, apparently on the south slope of the Sierra Madre range, because after climbing a mountain they came out onto plains, no doubt the Cuyama V., in approximately T 10 N, R 28 W (San Bernardino base line). Two leagues to the east was Talihuilimit.
2 Lisahua was probably in lower Salisbury Canyon in T 9 N, R 26 W. Cuia may have been in lower Santa Barbara Canyon, T 9 N, R 25 W. Siguecin would then have been 12-15 mi. up the canyon to the south.
3 The party evidently bore more to the north and found Sgene somewhere in lower Cuyama V., T 10 N, R 25 W.
4 Malapoa is located by Gifford and Schenck (1926) as on Bitterwater Cr. It is identified by them with Hoschiu of the Yokuts tribe, Tulamni. All the preceding villages were Tokya Chumash (see Kroeber, 1925, pl. 47). Nopalea can have been on either Bitterwater or Santiago Cr.
5 Buenavista can have been 8 leagues north of either Bitterwater or Santiago Cr. It is identifiedby Gifford and Schenck as Tilamniu, which Kroeber (1925, pl. 47) puts on the western or northwestern end of the lake. Sisupistu is considered to be Pohalin Tinliu at the southeast corner of Kern L. The big river is of course the Kern.
6 Six leagues from Sisupistu would have brought Zalvidea to the mouth of either Tejon or El Paso Cr. at the edge of the foothills. In the reconnaissance of July 28 the group explored the lower courses of El Paso, Tejon, and Pastoria creeks. Tupai is placed doubtfully by Gifford and Schenck at Tejon Ranch on El Paso Cr.
7 The party apparently doubled back west past Grapevine Cr. to Tacui which was undoubtedly Tecuya on Tecuya Cr.
8 Nine leagues north of Tecuya, on the Kern R. was Yaguelame, which Gifford and Schenck think was either Loasau or Woilo. My preference is the latter since Loasau was on Kern L. rather than the river and since Woilo is very close to 9 leagues from Tecuya.
9 The eastern end of Kern L. in T 32 S, R 28 E (Mt. Diablo base line).
10 Gifford and Schenck place Taslupi on Tejon Cr. This conforms with the distances given.
However it is more likely to have been Pastoria on Grapevine Cr. since the party arrived at Castaic, at the head of Grapevine Cr., on August 7.
11 Antelope V.
12 The San Gabriel Mts. The party crossed the mountains and went southwest to San Gabriel Mission. Several villages of the Serrano Indians were seen but the area concerned is well beyond the limits of the San Joaquin V.
Mission La Purisima Concepcion – Mission San Pedro & San Pablo De Bicuñer
California Registered Historical Landmarks 350 and 921
These two missions, located in far southeast corner of California, were founded in 1780 on the Colorado River to help protect the Anza Trail river crossing: Purisima Concepcion at Fort Yuma and San Pedro y San Pablo at Bicuñer, eight miles away. Francisco Garcés and Juan Antonio Barreneche established Purisima Concepcion. Padres Juan Diaz and Matías Moreno served at Bicuñer.
The missions and pueblo were poorly supported by Spain and the settlers ignored the rights of the indigenous Quechan (Yuma) Indians and took their best lands and destroyed their crops. The Quechan and their allies rebelled and attacked both missions between July 17 and 19, 1781. All four priests were martyred and many settlers and soldiers were also killed.
The bodies of the four priests were recovered and laid to rest in one coffin in the church at Tubutama, Sonora.
Juan Antonio Barreneche, son of Juan Miguel de Barreneche and Ana Catalina de Legarreta, was born in Lekaroz, Navarre, in 1749. As a young boy, a friend of the family took him to Havana, where he was admitted to the Franciscan convent at the age of nineteen. While he was preparing to make his religious profession, a fellow-countryman of his, Fray Enrique Echasco, stopped in Havana on his way back to his native land after twelve years in the missions of Mexico. Having talked with him, Barreneche requested to be sent to the missionary College of Queretaro. He left Havana on August 12, 1773. He reached Tampico seaport of Mexico; and from there he walked 500 miles until he arrived in Queretaro on the 13th day of September:
“With no more baggage than his breviary, he undertook his journey alone, on foot, and relying on divine Providence for the minimum of subsistence; in those solitary lands, he covered up to ten leagues in a day, facing the obstacles of continuous rains and very rough paths, but it was all made tolerable for him by his longing to reach the college, which he did on September 13th of the said year”.i
After six years at Queretaro, he was assigned to the missions of Arizona as a helper of Fr. Francisco Garcés. Garcés wrote about him: “Fr. Barreneche is very happy. He is gifted with such a good nature that he wins over many people. He is another St. Patrick”.ii
SITE OF MISSION LA PURISIMA CONCEPCION
California Registered Historical Landmark – 350
Located on Picacho Road in Fort Yuma, one mile south of Winterhaven Road.
Coordinates: 32°43’51″N 114°36’54″W
Only the marker identifies the site as the mission has vanished.
SITE OF MISSION SAN PEDRO Y SAN PABLO DE BICUÑER
California Registered Historical Landmark – 921
Located on Imperial County Road 524, 0.2 miles west of the intersection of Levee and Mehring Roads, 4.4 miles northeast of Bard.
Only the marker identifies the site.
Coordinates: 32°48′59″N 114°30′54″W
Keane Wonder Mine
Keane Wonder Mine was discovered by Domingo Etcharren (Baigorri, Nafarroa Beherea, 1860 – Ballarat, Ca. 1940) and an Irishman named Jack Keane on the slopes of the Funeral Mountains on the east side of Death Valley in December of 1903. The claim was called the Keane Wonder Mine and it became one of the two highest producing goldmines in Death Valley, netting approximately one million dollars in profit in the succeeding years. Etcharren used his share to purchase a store and other property in Darwin, a very short distance from Ballarat, while Keane was later involved in two shootings and was imprisoned in Ireland for murder.
George C. Pipkin states that Etcharren, called the “one-eyed Basque butcher from Ballarat,” ended up owning a saloon, a butcher’s shop and a considerable amount of land. He is buried in Ballarat.
Ballarat is now a ghost town but the cemetery holds the remains of many of the early inhabitants.
Death Valley National Park, Inyo County
Coordinates: 36° 40′ 10.1″N 116° 54′ 32.1″W
Pipkin, George C. (1982). Pete Aguereberry: Death Valley Prospector & Gold Miner. Murchison Publications, Trona.
Aguereberry Point is a mountain viewpoint in Death Valley National Park. It is named for Jean Pierre (Pete) Aguereberry (Onizepe, Zuberoa, 1874 – Tecopa Hot Springs, Inyo County, 1945), a prospector and well known “desert rat” of the Mojave area. Aguereberry came to the U.S. when he was about 16 years old and spent his first years as a sheepherder for various Basque sheepmen in the San Joaquin Valley, including Bakersfield. He is buried in the Mount Whitney Cemetery at Lone Pine, California.
Pete Aguereberry marveled at the amazing landscape of Death Valley. Before the place was named as a National Monument and became a tourist destination, Pete carved out a four-and-a-half mile road by hand, using a pick, shovel, wheelbarrow, and blasting powder, from his mine up to the Point. When asked why he had expended so much of his time and hard labor building the road, his answer was simple—he merely wanted to share the wonderful view of Death Valley with others.
Death Valley National Park, Inyo County.
Coordinates: 36°21′28″N 117°02′53″W
Pipkin, George C. (1982). Pete Aguereberry: Death Valley Prospector & Gold Miner. Murchison Publications, Trona.
Captain Don Pedro Fages was the first European to enter the southern San Joaquin Valley. In 1772 he was searching for Indians who had escaped from the Missions on the coast.
In 1806 Father José María de Zalvidea (Bilbo, Bizkaia, 1780 – Mission San Luis Rey, California, 1846) reached the same area searching for mission sites. Zalvidea was the first Basque to visit the southern San Joaquin region. The diary he wrote during his expedition (Diario de una expedición tierra adentro, “Report of an expedition to the interior”), as well as offering concrete information about the Central Valley—geographical location of the villages, number of inhabitants in each one, detailed information about the vegetation and water resources …—, shows us how the Indians lived in their natural environment and how they welcomed the whites at the time of first contact, and above all, it offers details about Indian peoples who would never be named again in any other document.
Mission Santa Ines was the origin point of the expedition on July 19, 1806, and the group returned to Santa Ines on August 14.
California Registered Historical Landmark – 291
Located on California State Highway 166, five miles east of Mettler Coordinates: 35°03′33″N 119°04′00″W
On July 21, 1952 the Tehachapi Earthquake, measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale, destroyed most of Tehachapi. The last Basque hotels were destroyed and never rebuilt. However, a remaining vestige of the Basque settlement is the Errea House built in 1870. The house has been preserved as it was seventy years ago when José Errea and his family inhabited it. Errea was a woodsman for a local limekiln. The Tehachapi Heritage League now owns the property and in 1997 the Errea House was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places. At the same time, the house was also placed on the California Register of Historical Resources.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 97000809
Located at 311 S. Green Street in Tehachapi, Kern County
Coordinates: 35°7′46″N 118°26′49″W
Bass, Steve (2015). “The Basque Towns of Bakersfield and Tehachapi, California”.
Faustino Mier Noriega and Fernando Etcheverry built the Iberia Hotel in 1893. In 1906 it was renamed The Noriega Hotel and it has been Basque owned or operated since its opening day.
In 1940 a bar, dining room and pelota court were added. The hotel now has a masonry façade but, otherwise, the all-wooden building still survives. According to Basque historian Jeronima Echeverria,i the Noriega is the last remaining Basque hotel to still take in male boarders and serve meals at one setting.
In 2011 the James Beard Foundation honored the Restaurant as an “American Classic.” It has been featured in newspapers from New York to Las Angeles and in numerous national magazines including the Smithsonian Magazine.
Last remaining Basque boardinghouse in the U.S.
Located at 525 Sumner Street, Bakersfield
Coordinates: 35°22’38″N 118°59’42″W
Bass, Steve (2015). “History of the Noriega Hotel”.
Los Angeles County
In 1793, the English navigator George Vancouver, on his second voyage to California, named the two extremities of San Pedro Bay Point Fermin and Point Lasuen, in honor of his friend Father Fermín Lasuén (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1736 – Mission San Carlos, California, 1803), who had succeeded Father Junípero Serra as father-president of the California missions. The names given by Vancouver were retained, but Point Lasuén has disappeared in the reconfiguration of the shoreline.
“[Lasuén´s] gentle manners, united to a most venerable and placid countenance, indicated that tranquilized state of mind that fitted him in an eminent degree for presiding over so benevolent an institution.”
In his second visit, Vancouver showed his esteem for the friar by giving him an organ, presumably the one still kept at Mission San Juan Bautista.
Point Fermin Park, San Pedro
Coordinates: 33º 42′ 19.44″N 118º 17′ 37.32″W
Brook Hover, Mildred; Rensch, Hero Eugene; Rensch, Ethel Grace; Abeloe, William N. (2002). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, page 159.
Vancouver, George, (1798). A voyage of discovery to the north Pacific Ocean, and round the world, vol. 2, page 34. https://archive.org/details/cihm_41863.
The English navigator George Vancouver named Point Vicente in 1793 for his good friend Friar Vicente Santa María, of the Mission Buenaventura.
Born in Aras (Navarre) in April 1742, Vicente Santa María embarked for the Americas in Cádiz in 1769 together with thirty-nine other Franciscans. According to the passport registers, he had a good physique, dark hair, and a “florid complexion.” In 1775, he was chaplain of the San Carlos, the first European ship to pass through the Golden Gate. His contemporaries describe Santa María as a strong and impetuous man, perhaps too much so for Junípero Serra’s taste, who complained that he was difficult to keep under control.
On the contrary, Santa María’s character seemed admirable to Vancouver:
“I had only reason to regret the short time I was to be indulged with the society of a gentleman, whose observations through life, and general knowledge of mankind, rendered him a most pleasing and instructive companion.”
Vancouver also named Point Felipe after Felipe de Goicoechea, comandante of the Presidio of Santa Barbara.
Located at 31550 Palos Verdes Drive West, in Ranch Palos Verdes
Coordinates: 33º 44′ 30.84″N 118° 24′ 38.16″W
Mission San Fernando Rey De España
On September 8, 1797, Father Fermín Lasuén (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1736 – Mission San Carlos, California, 1803) founded San Fernando Rey, the seventeenth of the California Missions. The mission was located in the Encino Valley on a rancho owned by Francisco Reyes. The natives called it Achois Comihabit. The mission was named for St. Ferdinand, King of Spain (1217-1252). Reyes’ house was appropriated as a temporary dwelling for Father Lasuén who had come south to the site with a military escort especially for the dedication. Father Francisco Dumetz, and his assistant, Francisco Javier Uría (Aizarna, Gipuzkoa, 1770 – Santa Barbara, California, 1834) the priests chosen to take charge of the mission, along with a large group of Indians, witnessed Lasuén’s solemn dedication.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 88002147
California Historical Landmark – 157
Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument 23
Located at 12151 San Fernando Mission Blvd., Mission Hills
Coordinates: 34°16′23″N 118°27′40″W
Los Encinos State Historic Park
The Franciscan padres used Encino as their headquarters while exploring the valley before establishing Mission San Fernando in 1797. In 1849 Vicente de la Osa built an adobe with nine rooms. The next owner of El Encino Rancho was Eugene Garnier, who built the existing two-story limestone house in 1872. In 1878, Gaston Oxarart purchased the ranch at a Sheriff’s auction. In 1886 Oxarart died and the ranch passed to his nephew, Simon Gless. In 1889 Gless sold the rancho to his father-in- law, Domingo Amestoy. This was the last time the 4,460-acre ranch was sold as a whole. In the coming years, it would slowly be taken apart, a piece at a time. In 1916, 1,170 acres of land were sold from the Rancho. This parcel was subdivided and became the city of Encino. In 1949, the last remaining parcel of land, containing the De La Osa adobe, Garnier House and spring were purchased by the State of California, and the Los Encinos State Historic Park was created.
Amestoy Elementary School in Gardena and Amestoy Avenue in San Fernando Valley were named in honor of Domingo Amestoy. Louise Avenue, also in San Fernando Valley, was named after Louise Amestoy, a daughter of Domingo and Marie Aicaguer Amestoy.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 71000142
California Historical Landmark – 689
Located at 16756 Moorpark Street, Encino.
Coordinates: 34°9′37″N 118°29′57″W
El Molino Viejo (The Old Mill)
Father José María de Zalvidea (Bilbao, Bizkaia, 1780 — Mission San Luis Rey, 1846), from Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, designed and built the mill in 1816. It was the first water-powered gristmill in Southern California and some have called it the first gristmill in California. Zalvidea used unique and innovative measures in the mill for more efficient waterpower and grinding ability. It is now the oldest commercial building in Southern California.
Father Zalvidea was credited as being a “wise manager of the mission temporalities.” Under his administration, Mission San Gabriel reached its highest prosperity. “In 1806 Father Jose María Zalvidea began twenty years of such successful rule that San Gabriel, the fourth Mission established, became known as the Queen of the Missions.”
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 71000154
California Registered Historical Landmark – 302
Located at 1120 Old Mill Road, San Marino
Coordinates: 34°07′08″N 118°07′41″W
Built in 1844, the Leonis Adobe is one of the oldest surviving residences in Los Angeles County. Miguel Leonis occupied it until his death in 1889.
Miguel Leonis was born in Kanbo, Lapurdi, in 1824. He came to Los Angeles about 1858 with few possessions and worked as a sheepherder. He went on to become the third richest man in California. He was known as “El Vasco Grande” and the “King of Calabasas.” He was a legendary, historical and controversial figure. He controlled and ruled much of the west end of the San Fernando Valley and part of what is now Ventura County. His home and headquarters was the Leonis Adobe, which he guarded like a feudal baron with his army of approximately on hundred Mexicans and Indians. Miguel died in 1889 from injuries suffered in a wagon accident. In order to claim a wife’s share of the estate, Espiritu Chujilla had to go to court to prove that she was Miguel’s legal wife. After a 16 year legal battle, she finally won her case shortly before her death in 1906.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 75000433
Los Angeles Cultural-Historic Monument Number 1
Located at 23537 Calabasas Road, Calabasas
Coordinates: 33°58’33.1″N 117°26’28.6″W
About Miguel Leonis: “Bridge to the Pyrenees: History of the Basque and Béarnaise Community of Southern California”
About Leonis Adobe Museum: http://www.leonisadobemuseum.org/
“Leona Valley History,” http://www.myleonavalley.org/LEONA_VALLEY_HISTORY.html
The Simon and Juanita Gless farmhouse is associated with three Basque families who all figured prominently in the early development of Los Angeles: Oxarart, Amestoy and Gless (or Glaize). The land on which Simon Gless built his home had belonged to his late uncle, Gaston Oxarart, who had come to the area as a sheepherder. Oxarart bequeathed his vast land holdings to Gless, including Rancho Los Encinos. Gless, soon after his marriage to Juanita Amestoy, sold Los Encinos to his father-in-law Domingo, preferring to live with his bride in their Queen Anne home in the fashionable new suburb of Boyle Heights. They raised their family and farmed there. By 1916 the home became a Jewish shelter until 2010.
There is a Gless Street located further south of the farmhouse, off of 1st Street in the current Pico Aliso area. It appears that when the Santa Ana Freeway was built, the Gless land was taken for this project.
Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument 982
Located at 131 S. Boyle Avenue, Boyle Heights
Coordinates: 34° 02′ 46.53″N 118° 13′ 11.78″W
Batz Rose Garden
Batz Rose Garden, California State University, Los Angeles.
Coordinates: 34° 4′ 0″ N, 118° 10′ 4″ W
Mission San Rafael Arcangel
Founded at the present day location of San Rafael, California on December 14, 1817 by Father Vicente Francisco de Sarriá (Etxebarri, Bizkaia, 1767 – Soledad, California, 1835. Buried at Mission San Antonio de Padua, California.) Sarriá became Father-President of the California missions in 1823 and held the post until 1825. He is credited with the first original contribution ever offered by a resident of California in the field of medicine, an 1830 paper on caesarean section birth.
California Registered Historical Landmark – 220
Located at 5th Avenue and A Street, San Rafael
Coordinates: 37°58′27.5988″N 122°31′40.476″W
Mission San Juan Capistrano
The founding of Mission San Juan Capistrano was first attempted on October 1775. But the news of the Indian uprising at San Diego forced the fathers charged with the founding, fellow-countrymen Fermin Lasuén (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1736 – Mission San Carlos, California, 1803) and Gregorio Amurrio y Arana (Bastida, Araba, 1744 – ? ) to give up the enterprise. In Lasuén’s words:
“We had just completed seven or eight days of work in that beautiful place. We had erected the mission cross, enclosed a spacious corral, mapped out the building, dug the holes in which to insert the poles, transported the lumber, and gathered a large quantity of tule. Since we lacked sufficient mules to withdraw with all our equipment, we buried the bells and two metates there.”
It was not until October of the following year that they returned, this time in company with Father Serra himself. They found the large cross that Lasuén had set up still standing. They dug up the bells and performed the usual ceremonies, and on November 1, 1776, San Juan Capistrano was founded for the second time. The work of building and conversion was left in the care of Fathers Pablo de Mugártegui (Markina, Bizkaia, 1736 – ?) and Gregorio Amurrio, “both good and efficient men.”
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 71000170
California Historical Landmark – 200
Located at 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano
Coordinates: 33°30′10″N 117°39′46″W
“To Fray Juan Prestamero” (San Diego, January 28, 1776) in Lasuén, Fermín Francisco de; Kenneally, Finbar (1965). Writings of Fermín Francisco de Lasuén. Academy of American Franciscan History, Washington D. C. Volume I, page 60.
Brook Hover, Mildred; Rensch, Hero Eugene; Rensch, Ethel Grace; Abeloe, William N. (2002). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, page 264.
First Winery in California
The first vineyards in California were planted by missionaries in the last years of the eighteenth century. What were called “mission grapes” were the primary kind of grapes in California throughout almost the entire nineteenth century. It is unknown who planted the first vines, but opinions agree on the name of the first winemaker and the place where that wine was made: Father Pablo de Mugártegui (Markina, Bizkaia, 1736 – ?) at the mission of San Juan Capistrano.
In 1779, on Mugártegui’s orders, six farmers from Baja California began to plant vines brought by ship from Mexico or Baja California. By 1781, working side by side with the friar, those six farmers had planted more than two thousand vines. The Franciscan historian Zephyrin Engelhardt affirms, on the basis of some casual remarks by Fr. Fermín Lasuén in a letter, that the first California wine was produced in 1781. In effect, Lasuén wrote to the viceroy that year that they had begun to press the grapes at San Juan Capistrano. According to Engelhardt, “there is no intimation of wine manufacture before this date in the records.” For the Franciscan historian, the wine Mugártegui made at San Juan Capistrano was the origin of viticulture in California.
That first wine made by the friars was part of a much broader effort. Mugártegui and his companions, convinced that the cross and the plow had to advance together, proposed to spread agriculture and livestock raising among the natives. In their view, without material progress, it was impossible to think of spiritual progress. According to another Franciscan historian, Ignacio Omaechevarria, the missionaries dedicated themselves to putting into practice among the California Indians the ideas that the members of the Real Sociedad Bascongada de Amigos del País were spreading in the Basque Country at this same time.ii This progressive impulse is especially evident in Mugártegui’s case, whose older brother, Pedro Valentín, was one of the founders of the Bascongada.
Mission San Juan Capistrano
Located at 26801 Ortega Hwy., San Juan Capistrano
Coordinates: 33° 30′ 10″ N 117° 39′ 42″ W
Engelhardt, Zephyrin (1922). San Juan Capistrano Mission. Los Angeles, California, page 39.
Omaechevarria, Ignacio (1959). Fr. Pablo José de Mugártegui. Desclée de Brouwer, Bilbao, page 331.
The Yorba and Casa Manuel García Adobes
The Yorba and Casa Manuel García Adobes, two of the original buildings in San Juan Capistrano, were purchased by Domingo Oyharzabal and his partner Juan Salaberri in 1880. Immediately thereafter the partners converted the Manuel García Adobe into the French Hotel and made the Yorba Adobe their home. The French Hotel was the first hotel for travellers along El Camino Real.
The partnership between Oyharzabal and Salaberri seems to have lasted until April 14, 1901, when Domingo Oyharzabal and his brother Etienne bought Salaberri´s share of the property. The families remained lifelong friends and continued to share the upstairs apartments of the Garcia Adobe for many years after Salaberri sold out his share.
The life history of Domingo Oyharzabal is well documented. He was born in 1848 in Hazparne (Hasparren), Lapurdi. Domingo left his birthplace for South America in the early 1860s, spent a few years there, and then set sail from Chile in 1868. On the boat from Chile he first met Juan Salaberri.
By the time that Domingo and Etienne Oyharzabal moved to San Juan Capistrano in 1878, a number of Basques were already making San Juan Capistrano their home. For example, Bernardo Erreca´s sheep ranch employed his two younger brothers, Juan and Miguel, and G. Etchevarran, D. Gastambide, Juan Urulty, and Juan Mariliuss. Other Basque residents of San Juan Capistrano at the time were Louis Dartiques; Juan, Maria, and Domingo Eramuspe; Bernard Ybarl; Juan and B. Arrambel; and Pedro, Juanita, and Maria Larra.
Like other early pioneers in Orange County, Domingo Oyharzabal had an intense interest in real estate. By 1910 Domingo had purchased more than 4,000 acres of land, planted 150 acres in walnuts, and owned vast herds of livestock in Orange and Inyo Counties.
Since neither Etienne nor Domingo had children, two of their nephews, Pedro and Esteban, inherited the property, and today the thick-walled adobes are still home to their heirs. The general store downstairs remained and is still open for business.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 82002222
Located at 31781 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano
Coordinates: 33°30′01″N 117°39′44″W
Bonhall, Brad: “History in the Making : Basque Compiles His Culture’s Contributions to San Juan Capistrano”. Los Angeles Times, February 06, 1994. http://articles.latimes.com/1994-02-06/news/vw-19758_1_san-juan-capistrano
Echeverria, Jeronima (1999). Home away from home. A History of Basque Boardinghouses, University of Nevada Press, Reno, Nevada, pp. 71-73.
Coordinates: 33°33′18″N 116°40′25″W
Anza Trail Monument-Anza Borrego Desert California State Park
The Anza Trail Monument, located in the Anza—Borrego Desert State Park, commemorates the journey of Juan Bautista de Anza from Sonora to San Francisco. Juan Bautista de Anza (Fronteras, Sonora, 1736 – Arizpe, Sonora, 1788) was the son of Juan Bautista de Anza (Hernani, Gipuzkoa, 1693 – Sonoran Desert, 1740) and María Rosa Bezerra Nieto.
The caption on the monument reads: “This route was opened by Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and Father Francisco Garcés in 1774. Anza’s expedition of 1775, a group of 240 soldiers and settlers coming from Sonora to found San Francisco, encamped near El Vado (The Ford) for three days and two nights, December 20-22, 1775.”
On December 20, 1775, Anza wrote in his diary:
“This morning it was so frigid and the night before was so extremely cold that three saddle animals and five head of cattle were frozen to death, and the weather was so hard on our people that almost none of them slept, for they spent the night occupied in feeding the fires in order to withstand it […]. On arriving at this place, which we called El Vado, we saw five of the heathen living here, but as soon as they caught sight of us they began to flee, leaving behind the vessels in which they were gathering seeds. In order that they might not be afraid I sent one soldier after them to bring them to the camp, so that I might give them presents. Having overtaken them he had them come a little nearer, but when they saw our men closer up they again fled. Seeing this I gave orders that they should not be pursued, lest they might consider it an act of violence. Their vessels, a bow, and three of their blankets of jack rabbit skin which they left behind, as I have said, I caused to be gathered up and placed where they could find them.”
The Trail was designated a National Historic Trail in 1990 and a National Millennium Trail in 1999.
California Registered Historical Landmark – 634
Coordinates: 33°20’33.9″N 116°23’38.2″W
“Diary of Juan Bautista de Anza” (Dec. 20, 1775) in Bolton, Herbert Eugene (1930). Anza´s California Expeditions, University of California Press, Berkeley, California, Volume 3, pp. 64-65.
Anza Crossing of the Santa Ana River, 1775 and 1776
In October of 1775 Captain Juan Bautista de Anza began a trek to California with 242 settlers and soldiers and 1,000 head of livestock. It was an effort to open an overland route from Mexico to California and to discourage Russian settlement of the California coast. On January 1, 1776 the entourage crossed the Santa Ana River south of this marker. Basque historian Donald Garate states that Anza’s expedition was “…unparalleled in the history of North America.” For Charles E. Chapman, “his work, under the guidance of the great viceroy [Antonio María de Bucarely y Ursúa], was to have an enduring importance beyond anything that ever happened in the history of the Californias.”
California Registered Historical Landmark – 787
Located on the Jurupa Hills Country Club Golf Course between the clubhouse and Number 1 tee, Riverside
Coordinates: 33° 57′ 46.116″N 117° 25′ 42.239″W
Chapman, Charles E. (1921). A History of California: the Spanish period, Macmillan Co., New York, page 313.
San Benito County
Mission San Juan Bautista
This mission, also called La Misión del Glorioso Precursor de Jesu Cristo, Nuestro Señor San Juan Bautista (The Mission of the Glorious Precursor of Jesus Christ, Our Lord San Juan Bautista), was founded on June 24, 1797 by Fermín Lasuén (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1736 – Mission San Carlos, California, 1803). It was the 15th mission established in Alta California. Padres Pedro Martínez and José Manuel Martiarena (Errenteria, Gipuzkoa, 1754 – ?) were his choices to be the first priests at the church. The mission was built at the crossroads of El Camino Real and El Camino Viejo at Pacheco Pass and 90 miles southeast of San Francisco.
California Registered Historical Landmark – 195
Located at 2nd and Mariposa Streets, San Juan Bautista
Coordinates: 36°50′42″N 121°32′09″W
Immaculate Conception Eliza
San Diego County
El Camino Real Located at Mission San Diego de Alcalà
Jesuit and Franciscan missionaries established a series of missions between 1683 and 1834 from Baja California into Alta California. In Alta California (today’s California) the road took two routes established by two major expeditions. The first was the Portolà expedition of 1769. After leaving Loreto, Baja California, Portolà’s group, including padres Junípero Serra and Juan Crespí, founded the first of the California missions at San Diego. Portolà and Crespí continued north following the coastline unless they where forced inland by cliffs. This is now basically California State Highway 1. San Francisco Bay kept them from going further north.
The second expedition was that of Juan Bautista de Anza in 1775-76. Anza entered Alta California from the southwest after crossing the Colorado River. He joined Portolà’s route at Mission San Gabriel and he found it easier travelling inland through several valleys rather than keeping to the coast. This route included the San Fernando Valley and the Salinas Valley. He returned to the coast to visit Monterey and then used the Santa Clara Valley up to the southern part of the San Francisco Bay and then east to the San Francisco peninsula. This easier route became the one most often used and closely follows the officially recognized “King’s Road,” the El Camino Real. It is now, basically, U.S. Highway 101.
Missions were located approximately every 30 miles along this road.
California Registered Historical Landmark – 784
Coordinates: 32°47′4″N 117°6′23″W
The marker represents the beginning of the California route. A same marker is located in the Mission District of San Francisco.
Mission San Luis de Francia
Father Fermín Lasuén (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1736 – Mission San Carlos, California, 1803) founded Mission San Luis Rey de Francia on June 13, 1798. On June 20, just one week after the foundation, Lasuén wrote to governor Diego de Borica (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1742 – Durango, Nueva España, 1800):
“Here everyone is wondering at the marvels God has wrought. Already there are seventy-seven baptized, and twenty-three catechumens. Larger numbers are not admitted to instruction for it is impossible to maintain them in the customary manner because of the grave and unavoidable inconveniences incidental to beginnings like these, because of the urgent and imperative duties involved, and more especially because it is difficult to transport food for so many.
On the part of the pagans there is no difficulty whatever. At the slightest hint they begin to present themselves for instruction. Thanks be to God.
Since the day when we first took possession here, the large pozole cauldron has been filled three times a day, twice with atole and once with pozole; and so it goes on without stopping. We have thirty neophytes, fifteen from each of the missions, San Juan Capistrano and San Diego, and they are good workers. There are twenty yoke of oxen, eighteen equipped for present needs. Good corrals have been made for the cattle and sheep, and all preparations have been made for an additional one for the horses. To protect everything a palisade is being built, and without very much trouble; and as a rule we have more that enough firewood. Thanks be to God.”
San Luis de Francia was the eighteenth of the missions established in California and it is known as “The King of the Missions.”
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 70000142
U. S. National Historic Landmark
California Registered Historical Landmark – 239
Located at 4050 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, California
Coordinates: 33°13′57″N 117°19′13″W
“To Don Diego de Borica” (Incipient Mission of San Luis de Francia, June 20, 1798) in Lasuén, Fermín Francisco de; Kenneally, Finbar (1965). Writings of Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, Academy of American Franciscan History, Washington D. C. Volume II, page 86.
Casa de Aguirre Museum
The Casa de Aguirre Museum is housed in a reconstruction of the original adobe built by Don José Antonio Aguirre on this site on or just prior to 1853. Because the Casa de Aguirre was one of the first houses in Old Town, the Aguirre’s, Antonio, his wife Rosario Estudillo (daughter of José Antonio Estudillo, a prominent landowner) and their many children, are considered to be one of San Diego’s founding families.
Don Antonio was a wealthy merchant and rancher who contributed greatly to the development of San Diego. Locally, he owned several ships and warehouses and imported goods from Peru and China in trade for cowhides and tallow. Later, Aguirre became one of the largest landowners in California when he developed a successful ranching enterprise.
Born in 1799 in Donostia (San Sebastián), Gipuzkoa, Aguirre left for North America at the age of 15, settling in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a merchant in Guaymas, Mexico, and then moved to Alta California. He divided his residence between San Diego and Santa Barbara, where he was said to own the finest residence in town. He established a warehouse at La Playa, the beach near San Diego where ships would anchor for trading.
In 1850, he partnered with his brother-in-law Miguel de Pedrorena, William Heath Davis and others to develop New Town San Diego. Aguirre was known for his charity and funded many projects including the construction of the Old Adobe Chapel on Conde Street, the church where he is buried.
For an extended biography of José Antonio Aguirre:
Haggland, Mary H: “Don José Antonio Aguirre. Spanish merchant and ranchero.” Journal of San Diego History, Winter 1983. http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/83winter/aguirre.htm
Located in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, San Diego Avenue at Twiggs Street, San Diego
Coordinates: 32°45’13″N 117°11’45″W
Adobe Chapel of the Immaculate Conception
Originally built as the home of San Diego’s John Brown in 1850, the house was converted to a church by Don José Antonio Aguirre in 1858. In the San Diego community, Aguirre was sometimes called “Aguirron” because of his large stature. He was also known as “Santo Aguirre” because of his great generosity. Among these acts of kindness was the donation of the Old Adobe Chapel in Old Town.
Father Antonio D. Ubach, formerly a missionary among the Indians, was parish priest here from 1866 to 1907. It is said that he was the model for “Father Gaspara” in Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona.
In 1937 the WPA rebuilt the adobe chapel close to its original site.
For an extended biography of José Antonio Aguirre:
Haggland, Mary H: “Don José Antonio Aguirre. Spanish merchant and ranchero.” Journal of San Diego History, Winter 1983. http://www.sandiegohistory.org/journal/83winter/aguirre.htm
California Registered Historical Landmark – 49
Located at 3950 Conde Street in Old Town San Diego
Coordinates: 32°45′06″N 117°11′39″W
Casa De Pedrorena De Altamirano
Casa de Pedrorena was the home of Miguel de Pedrorena Jr. His father, born in Madrid to a Basque family, came to San Diego in 1838. Don Miguel was a member of the Constitutional Convention at Monterey in 1849. In early 1850, with his brother-in-law José Antonio Aguirre, William Heath Davis and others, formed a partnership to develop a new town site south of the existing town of San Diego, closer to San Diego Bay. He died suddenly on March 31, 1850, before he could build on the lot he had acquired next to the home of his in-laws. His son Miguel Junior built the house in 1869.
California Registered Historical Landmark – 70
Located at 2616 San Diego Avenue, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
Coordinates: 32°45′14″N 117°11′47″W
San Francisco County
Entrance of the San Carlos into San Francisco Bay
On August 5, 1775, the Spanish ship San Carlos, under the command of lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala y Aguirre, became the first ship to enter San Francisco Bay. Ayala was not the only man of Basque origin on the San Carlos. The second pilot was Juan Bautista Aguirre, and the chaplain was the Navarrese Vicente Santa María.
The group spent forty-four days in the bay, as they explored the region as far as the mouth of the San Joaquin River, measured the bay’s depth, and named geographical locations. Two of these names, with alterations, have lasted until today: Isla Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (“Our Lady of the Angels Island”) today is Angel Island and Isla de los Alcatraces (“Island of the Gannets”) is today the famous Alcatraz, although the name was initially assigned to a different island.
Ayala´s exploration of San Francisco Bay established the suitability of its shores for settlement, and the location at San Francisco of the mission and the presidio was largely influenced by this expedition.i
Vicente Santa María left a record in his diary of the close and peaceful relationships he maintained with the native inhabitants of San Francisco, the Huimen and the Huchiun. (Diario de lo acaecido en el nuevo descubrimiento del puerto de San Francisco – “Diary of what happened in the new discovery of the port of San Francisco”.) The Navarrese chaplain’s diary is unique in the respect it shows to the Indians.
On August 5, 1775, the Spanish packet San Carlos, under the command of Lieutenant Juan Manuel de Ayala, became the first ship to enter San Francisco Bay. His crew spent a month and a half surveying the bay from its southernmost reaches to the northern end of present-day Suisun Bay. The San Carlos departed September 18, 1775.
California registered historical landmark no. 236.
Plaque placed by the state Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the San Francisco twin Bicentennial. August 5, 1975.
California Registered Historical Landmark – 236
Located at Aquatic Park, northwest corner of Beach and Larkin Streets, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco
Coordinates: 37°48’24.4″N 122°25’21.8″W
Brook Hover, Mildred; Rensch, Hero Eugene; Rensch, Ethel Grace; Abeloe, William N. (2002). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, page 159.
Presidio of San Francisco
The original Presidio of San Francisco was built in a site indicated by Captain Juan Bautista de Anza in 1776. On March 28, having recognized the strategic location at the mouth of the wide bay, Anza wrote in his diary:
“I went to the narrowest opening made by the mouth of the port, where nobody had been before. There I set up a cross, and at its foot I buried under the ground a notice of what I have seen, in order that it may serve as a guide to any vessels that may enter, as well as a report of what I am going on to explore in order to establish the fort belonging to this harbor.”
The following day, Anza described the benefits of the site as follows:
“This presidio and fort will have an abundance and variety of water, firewood, and building stone. It will not lack a place in which to plant good fields, although somewhat distant, nor pastures for cattle without equal in quality and abundance. And besides enjoying these fine advantages, of which those who have formerly come as far as the mouth of the port have not even had hopes, it will enjoy even more if established at he place already mentioned, where it is narrowest, to mark which I am leaving erected a cross, as I indicated on the 28th.”
The original Presidio consisted of the presidio, proper, built by a party led by Anza´s lieutenant José Joaquín Moraga later that year; and a fortification, El Castillo de San Joaquin, completed in 1794 by the sixth governor of California, José Joaquín Arrillaga (Aia, Gipuzkoa, 1750 – Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, California, 1814).
The entire complex evolved over time and was extensively rebuilt and expanded after the great earthquake of 1812.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 66000232
Designated National Historic Landmark – June 13, 1962
California Historical Landmark – 79
Located on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula in San Francisco
It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Coordinates: 37°47′53″N 122°27′57″W
“Diary of Juan Bautista de Anza”, Dec. 20, 1775 in Bolton, Herbert Eugene (1930). Anza´s California Expeditions, University of California Press, Berkeley, California, Volume 3, Bolton 127-128.
Mission San Francisco De Asis (Dolores)
Mission San Francisco de Asis was founded on June 29, 1776, by Lieutenant José Joaquin Moraga and Father Francisco Palóu. Captain Juan Bautista de Anza had selected the site few months before, on March 28.
“I again went to the lake with the spring which I mentioned yesterday and likewise to the spring which I called Los Dolores,” writes Anza in his diary on March 29. And he concludes: “This valley has all the favorable circumstances required for the establishment of a mission, which would have the advantage of plentiful crops, both seasonal and with irrigation, as well as plenty of heathen, and would serve as a way-station between Monte Rey and the port of San Francisco.”
Anza called the spring Los Dolores because it was on the Friday of Our Lady of Sorrows that he found it. Later, the name of the mission itself became popularized to “Mission Dolores.”
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 72000251
California Historical Landmark – 327-1
San Francisco Designated Landmark – Reference no. 1
Located at 320 Dolores Street, San Francisco
Coordinates: 37°45′51.8″N 122°25′37″W
Castillo De San Joaquin
The first ship to enter San Francisco Bay, the San Carlos, under the command of captain Juan Manuel de Ayala y Aguirre, dropped anchor off this point on August 5, 1775. Earlier, the son of a Guipuzcoan, lieutenant-colonel Juan Bautista de Anza, planted the cross on La Punta del Cantil Blanco (White Cliff) March 28, 1776. Another Guipuzcoan, José Joaquín de Arrillaga, sixth governor of California, completed the first fortification, Castillo de San Joaquin, December 8, 1794. By the time it was finished, the weapons that the frigate Aránzazu had brought to supply the fort were in place, including six handsome bronze cannons manufactured a hundred years earlier in Peru.
The San Joaquin fort did not last long. The unstable walls of adobe and brick were soon damaged by earthquakes and shifting soil. Nevertheless, it’s worth remembering that, for a number of years, the entrance to San Francisco Bay was defended by the fort built on Arrillaga’s orders on the place chosen by Anza and the cannons brought by the frigate Aránzazu, named after the patron saint of Gipuzkoa.i
The first ship to enter San Francisco Bay, the San Carlos (Capt. Ayala), dropped anchor off this point August 5, 1775. Lieut.-Colonel Don Juan Bautista de Anza planted the cross on Cantil Blanco (White Cliff) March 28, 1776. The first fortification, Castillo de San Joaquin, was completed December 8, 1794 by Jose Joaquin de Arrillaga, sixth Governor of California. In 1853 United States Army engineers cut down the cliff and built Fort Point, re-named Fort Winfield Scott in 1882. This fort is a partial replica of Fort Sumter is the only brick fort west of the Mississippi. Its seawall has stood undamaged for 100 years.
This tablet placed by
San Francisco Chapter
Daughters of the American Revolution
California Registered Historical Landmark – 82
Demolished in 1853 for the construction of Fort Point
Located at the southeast corner of Fort Wall, Fort Point, San Francisco below the Golden Gate Bridge
Coordinates: 37°48′38″N 122°28′38″W
De Laveaga Dell/National Aids Memorial Grove
San Luis Obispo County
Landing Place of Pedro de Unamuno
The navigator Pedro de Unamuno, from Soraluze, in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa, landed here in 1587. He had set sail from Manila in early summer 1586 with instructions to find a port on the California coast for the Manila galleon. But in Macao he was jailed and his ships were taken by the Portuguese. When he was released, he managed to get funds to purchase a small ship, probably with the help of Fray Martín Ignacio de Loyola (Eibar, circa 1550 – Buenos Aires, 1616), a nephew of St. Ignatius, who was traveling with him and was eager to escape from the hands of the Portuguese.
The crew finally saw the coast of California on 18 October 1587 and landed in a bay near today’s Morro Bay, which they named San Lucas. Unamuno and his men spent three days in the area of San Lucas, venturing further inland than any other European arriving from the Pacific. Unamuno reported that the harbor he had found was a good one for the Manila galleon. The hills were beautiful with oaks and sycamores. As for the rancherías, they looked, Unamuno said, “like Biscay charcoal pits.”
During the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade era from 1565 to 1815 Spanish galleons crossed the pacific between the Philippines and Mexico. On October 18, 1587, the Manila Galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza commanded by Pedro de Unamuno entered Morro Bay near here. A landing party was sent to shore which included Luzon Indios, marking the first landing of Filipinos in the continental United States. The landing party took official possession of the area for Spain by putting up a cross made of branches. The group was attacked by native Indians two days later, and one of the Filipinos was killed. Unamuno and his crew gave up further exploration of this part of the coast.
Historical Landmark Declared by the Filipino American National Historical Society
California Central Coast Chapter
Dedicated October 21, 1995.
Historical Landmark, declared by the Filipino American National Historical Society, California Central Coast Chapter, Dedicated October 21, 1995
Located at Coleman Park in Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County
Coordinates: 35°22’20.4″N 120°51’39.9″W
“Relacion del viage y navegacion que hizo el Capitan Pedro de Unamuno…» in Mathes, Michael W. (1965). Californiana I. Documentos para la historia de la demarcación comercial de California 1583-1632. Ediciones José Porrúa, Turanzas, Madrid, pp. 8-37.
Mission San Miguel Arcangel
Father Fermín Lasuén (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1736 – Mission San Carlos, California, 1803) founded mission San Miguel on July 25, 1797. Lasuén informed governor Diego de Borica (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1742 – Durango, Nueva España, 1800) about the foundation in a letter dated that same day:
“I beg to inform your Lordship that on this, the Feast of our patron Santiago, in a beautiful region which is called Vahca by the natives, and which is located near the Camino Real between San Antonio de Padua and San Luis Obispo, I blessed water, the grounds, and a large cross which we venerated and erected […] There was present a large multitude of pagans of both sexes and of all ages whose joy and happiness exceeded our expectations.”
Two days later, in a letter to his superior in San Fernando College, Lasuén didn’t conceal the inconveniences they were facing:
“It is very warm during the day, and uncomfortably cold at night, and, to be candid, we all suffer from it, for our living quarters are nothing but huts made of branches. They afford us little shade, and less shelter.”
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 71000191
U.S. National Historic Landmark – Designated March 20, 2006
California Registered Historical Landmark – 326
Located at 775 Mission Street, San Miguel
Coordinates: 35°44′41″N 120°41′53″W
“To Don Diego de Borica” (San Miguel, July 25, 1797) in Lasuén, Fermín Francisco de; Kenneally, Finbar (1965). Writings of Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, Academy of American Franciscan History, Washington D. C. Volume II, page 37.
Ibid., page 38.
Santa Barbara County
Presidio of Santa Barbara
Founded on April 21, 1782, the Santa Barbara Royal Presidio was the last in a chain of four military fortresses built by Spain along the coast of Alta California; the others were at San Diego, Monterey, and San Francisco. Lieutenant Ortega, the first comandante of the presidio, directed construction of the temporary fortifications and living quarters for the first settlers, the fifty five soldiers and their families. Construction of the permanent adobe presidio structure was directed by his successor, Lieutenant Felipe de Goicoechea.
Felipe Antonio de Goicoechea was born in Cosalá, in the state of Sinaloa (Mexico), in 1747. He assumed command in Santa Barbara on January 25, 1784, and remained in command until 1802. The Presidio was built based on designs he drew up in 1788. Bancroft mentions that he was the oldest of the presidial commanders for his time… “he was also one of the ablest, subsequently becoming the first governor of Lower California.”
Goicoechea served for 18 years as comandante of the Santa Bárbara Presidio. He once described himself as an exile in the ‘vast lands’ of Alta California.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 73000455
California Registered Historical Landmark – 636
Located at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park between Anacapa and Garden streets on East Canon Perdido Street in downtown Santa Barbara.
Coordinates: 34°25′21.24″N 119°41′49.56″W
Brook Hover, Mildred; Rensch, Hero Eugene; Rensch, Ethel Grace; Abeloe, William N. (2002). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, page 350.
Lamadrid Jiménez, Lázaro (1963). El alavés Fray Fermín Francisco de Lasuén. O.F.M. (1736-1803). Fundador de Misiones en California. Diputación Foral de Álava, page 386.
Mission Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Mission was founded on a site selected by Father Fermín Lasuén (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1736 – Mission San Carlos, California, 1803), and he himself formally consecrated it on December 4, 1786. The first entries in the mission’s baptismal register were for three young Indian men: the first was Catuya, around twenty-two years old, from the village of Guainonase, whom Lasuén baptized with the name of Antonio María; the second was Sioctu, around fifteen years old, from the village of Sisabanonase, baptized with the name of Vicente María; and the third was Mumiyaut, around twelve years old, from the village of Janaya, given the name of Vicente de Paul. The commander of the Santa Bárbara presidio, Felipe de Goicoechea, served as godfather for all three.
The mission still maintains many of its original features and the chapel appearance is much as it was in 1820 and is sometimes called “The Queen of the Missions.”
According to the chronicler Fray Juan de Torquemadai, Santa Barbara owes its name to the seaman Sebastián Vizcaíno. When he was sailing among the islands in the channel in 1602, Vizcaíno suffered a terrible storm that lasted from the afternoon of December 3 until nightfall the following day. The 4th was Saint Barbara’s feast day, and following the custom of the times, Vizcaíno named the location for the saint of the day.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 66000237
U.S. National Historic Landmark – Designated October 9, 1960
California Registered Historical Landmark – 309
Located at 2201 Laguna Street, Santa Barbara
Coordinates: 34°26′18″N 119°42′50″W
Torquemada, Juan de: Monarquía Indiana, Miguel León-Portilla edit., Biblioteca Estudiantil Universitaria, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México D. F., 1964, page 714.
Mission la Purisima Concepcion
Mission la Purisima Concepcion was founded by Father Fermín Lasuén (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1736 – Mission San Carlos, California, 1803) on December 8, 1787, the Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion of Mary. It is the eleventh of the 21 Franciscan Missions established in Alta California. The original mission complex south of Lompoc was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812, and the mission was rebuilt at its present site.
In 1824, an Indian uprising spread from Mission Santa Ines down the Santa Ynez River valley. At La Purisima the Chumash people took over the mission for one month until more soldiers from Monterey presidio arrived. Eventually, the Chumash lost their hold on the mission and withdrew to the interior.
Vicente de Sarriá (Etxebarri, Bizkaia 1767 – Soledad, California 1835) agreed to accompany the expedition organized to bring them back, after making Gov. Luis Argüello promise that the Indians would receive a full pardon. “I wanted to go to assure the neophyte fugitives that they would be pardoned, to eliminate their fears that they would be pursued by the soldiers, to dispel any doubts about punishment, and, above all, to convince them to return to their mission. Everything worked out.”
Antonio María Osio summarized Sarriá’s participation in the expedition in these words: “Only his persuasion had the necessary power to take away the Indians’ fear.”
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 70000147
U.S. National Historic Landmark – Designated 1970
California Registered Historical Landmark – 340
Located in La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, Lompoc
Coordinates: 34°40′13.692″N 120°25′14.2206″W
“Sarriá´s letter to the Bishop of Sonora” in Beebe, Rose Marie; Senkewicz, Robert M. (2001). Lands of promise and despair. Chronicles of Early California, 1535-1846. Santa Clara University, Heyday Books, Berkeley, California, 2001, pp. 277-83.
Antonio María Osio, “Historia de la California, 1815–1848,” ms., Calisphere, http://content.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/hb8b69p3q7/.
The Janssens-Orella-Birk Building
The Janssens-Orella-Birk Building was built in 1927 and considerably remodelled in 1937 and later in 1941. The first adobe building on the site was constructed by Agustin Janssens, a Belgian native, and his wife, Maria Antonia Pico. In 1872, it was bought by Bruno Orella and Mercedes González y Ladrón de Guevara and it became their town-home. The descendants of the Orella family owned the building until the 1950s.
Don Bruno Orella y Mendizabal was born in Muzkiz, Bizkaia, in 1830 and came to California during the Gold Rush. He established a prosperous farming/mercantile family with extensive holdings throughout the Santa Barbara/Ventura region. The Orellas were patrons of the local Catholic churches and religious orders. All sons of the family attended Santa Clara College and to this day there is an Orella Prize given at that university to the student with highest grades in the sciences. The city of Santa Barbara acknowledged the patriarch’s stature in the community by naming Orella St. after him in the Oak Park neighborhood.
The Orellas had their country residence in the Orella Adobes at Cañada del Corral on the Gaviota Coast. They had purchased the adobes in 1866. One of the buildings served as schoolhouse to their children, and a tutor was hired to live on the ranch. Bruno’s daughter, Elena Orella Covarrubias, inherited the adobes and remodeled them in the 1930s. Oil was found on her land in October, 1929, with the drilling of the “Erburu No. 1” well by General Petroleum Corporation. The El Capitan oil field became one of the richest in the state; production at the field peaked in 1946. It was part of Bruno’s large landholdings in the region and remained in the hands of his descendants until the property was sold to Exxon Mobil Corporation in 1971. On August 17, 1993 the Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors declared County Landmark status for the Orella Adobes.
THE JANSSENS-ORELLA-BIRK BUILDING
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 87001170
1029-1031 State St., Santa Barbara, California
Coordinates: 34°25′19.6″N 119°42′11″W
THE ORELLA ADOBES
Santa Barbara County landmarks
Cañada del Corral on the Gaviota coast about 20 miles west of Santa Barbara
Coordinates: 34°26′26″N 119°48′49″W
Santa Clara County
The José María Alviso Adobe, built in 1837 and enlarged in the early 1850s, stands as an excellent example of the Monterey style of architecture popularized throughout California in the 1830s and 1840s. It is the only remaining example of this style in the Santa Clara Valley and San Francisco Bay area. The building is the result of a major remodelling completed by 1853 by the Alviso family, José María Alviso and his wife Juana Francisca. It is unusual to find a building as little altered over a period of 150 years. The adobe is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
José María Alviso was the son of Francisco Xavier Alviso and Maria Bojorquez, both of whom arrived in San Francisco as children with their parents from Sonora on the Anza Expedition in 1776. (The name Alviso was originally spelled “Albizu”.) He served as a soldier with the San Francisco Company from 1819 to 1827, and saw California pass from Spain to Mexico, and then from Mexico to the United States. He also served as the alcalde of San José in 1836.
The Alviso family became a large and influential one and were grantees of Natividad, Cañada Verde y Arroyo de la Purisima, Milpitas, Potrero de los Cerritos, El Quito, Cañada de los Vaqueros, and Rincon de los Esteros.
The town of Alviso was named for José Marías´s brother Ignacio.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 97001190
Located at 92 Piedmont Rd., Milpitas, California. Coordinates: 37°26′17.59″N 121°52′21.68″W
Santa Cruz County
Mission Santa Cruz
Mission Santa Cruz was founded on August 28, 1791 by Father Fermín Lasuén (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1736 – Mission San Carlos, California, 1803). As soon as the commandant of the frigate Aránzazu delivered the necessary vestments and sacred vessels that would serve as a “dowry” for the foundation, Lasuén undertook in person the task of examining the Santa Cruz site.
“I crossed the sierra by a road that is very long and very rough. I found that this site was just as beautiful and just as suitable as had been reported to me. And furthermore, I came upon a channel of water close at hand, very plentiful, and very essential.
On the Feast of St. Augustine I said Mass in the district, and the holy cross was raised in the very place where it is to be set up. At that time many pagans, old and young, of both sexes, gave evidence that they would promptly enroll themselves under sacred standard. Thanks be to God.”
Several Basque Franciscans served in Santa Cruz: Domingo Carranza, a native of Loza (Araba); José Antonio Uría, from Azkoitia (Gipuzkoa) and Francisco Xavier de la Concepción Uría, from Aizarna (Gipuzkoa). But they all left as soon as possible: the proximity to the pueblo of Branciforte (present day Santa Cruz) and a series of natural disasters limited the success of this mission. Compared to the others, Andrés Quintana, from Antoñana (Araba) lasted a long time in his post: from his arrival in 1805 until he was murdered on October 12, 1812.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 76000530
California Registered Historical Landmark – 342
126 High St Santa Cruz, California
Coordinates: 36°58′41.22″N 122°1′45.83″W
“To Don José Antonio de Romeu” (San Carlos Mission, September 29, 1791) in Lasuén, Fermín Francisco de; Kenneally, Finbar (1965). Writings of Fermín Francisco de Lasuén, Academy of American Franciscan History, Washington D. C. Volume I, pp. 235-236.
Villa de Branciforte Site
Villa de Branciforte was founded by California Governor Diego de Borica (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Araba, 1742 – Durango, Nueva España, 1800) in 1797 as part of Spain’s strategy to protect upper California against other European countries such as Russia, England, and France.
These school grounds were center of Villa de Branciforte founded in 1797 by Governor Diego de Borica of California on orders from Spain through Viceroy Branciforte in Mexico. Settlement existed as political entity until American occupancy of California. Remained as township until 1905 when annexed to city of Santa Cruz.
Marker placed by California Centennials Commission in cooperation with Santa Cruz County Historical Society.
Dedicated November 17, 1950.
California Historical Landmark – 469
Santa Cruz, California. Annexed by Town of Santa Cruz 1905
Coordinates: 36° 59′ 0″N 122° 1′ 0″W
Arana Gulch is a landform and greenbelt area within the city of Santa Cruz, California. This parcel of land includes open meadows, California oak woodland, and the riparian zone of Arana Creek. The property ownership is by the city of Santa Cruz, who operates Arana Gulch as a public open space.
Arana Gulch is named after José Arana, who lived in Live Oak in the mid-1800s. Son of Francisco Arana and María de los Angeles Arrieja (Arrieta?), José Arana came from Mexico into Alta California in 1834 with the Hijar-Padres colonization group. In the year 1842 he was the grantee of the Rancho Potrero y Rincon de San Pedro Regalado (now the Potrero and Harvey West neighborhoods of northern Santa Cruz). Sometime after that date, Arana moved to the area that now bears his name. Prior to California statehood, Arana Creek was the dividing line between lands assigned to the Villa de Branciforte (to the west) and those of Rancho Arroyo del Rodeo.
Arana died March 1, 1868.
Santa Cruz, California
Coordinates: 37° 1′ 44.82″N 121° 58′ 24.86″W
World Heritage Encyclopedia™ licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 and Wikipedia.
The Bayview Hotel
The Bayview Hotel is the county’s oldest operating hotel. It was built by Juan José Arano, “a cultured Basque forty-niner who was raised in New Orleans and spoke four languages.” Around 1850, on a site purchased from his father-in-law, Rafael Castro, Arano built a grocery store that still stands at Wharf Road and Soquel Drive. Wharf Road was the original main street, connecting the lumber mills to the shipping wharf. In 1851, Arano became the first postmaster of Aptos, with the office at his store.
In 1878, he constructed a handsome 28-room hotel at Aptos Depot, where he moved his store and post office and added an elegant Victorian saloon. Its original name was the Anchor House, but it was soon changed to Bayview Hotel.
In 1915, Arano´s daughter, Amelia, converted the hotel into a boarding house, where José resided until his death in 1928 at the age of 91. That year, the service wing in back of the hotel caught fire, and all local firemen could do was cut it loose from the main building and let it burn.
In 1942, Amelia sold the Bayview and the hotel was moved to current location.
U.S. National Register of Historic Places – Reference no. 92000259.
In 1994 the Museum of Art and History added it to the list of Santa Cruz County Historical Landmarks.
Located at 8041 Soquel Drive, Aptos
Coordinates: 36° 58′ 39″ N 121° 53′ 58″ W
Gibson, Ross Eric, “The Spirit of Aptos: 116-Year-Old Hotel to Become Landmark”, in San Jose Mercury News, April 26, 1994, p.1B. http://www.santacruzpl.org/history/articles/355/ (retrieved 2015-05-21)
De Laveaga Park
De Laveaga Park bears the name of its benefactor, a little-known wealthy naturalist, horseman and humanitarian: José Vicente de Laveaga.
José Vicente de Laveaga was born in Rosario, Mexico, in 1844 to José Vicente de Laveaga Gurruchátegui (San Fernando, Cádiz, 1798 – San Francisco, California, 1894) and Dolores Aguirre (Urretxu, Gipuzkoa, 1824 – San Francisco, California 1882). When he was 11 years old, he and his two brothers were put on a ship to begin their formal education in Germany, and did not rejoin his family in San Francisco until 1868.
Vicente was almost totally deaf, and used a horn placed to his ear to hear. Ross Eric Gibson describes him as follows:
“Vicente was a loner, and this life-long bachelor didn’t make friends easily. He loved nature and horses, and was often seen on county roads mounted on a silver-decorated saddle on his black pacer, Duke, or in a carriage phaeton, pulled by his spirited ponies.”
Vicente was also a shrewd businessman. He acquired properties in San Francisco, Contra Costa, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. Of all his holdings, his favorite was Santa Cruz. When he died, at age 50, he left his Santa Cruz estate to the city and county for a park. Fifty acres of the park were to be set aside for a large facility to serve the deaf, blind, lame, paralytic and aged of restricted means. But his will was invalidated, and Santa Cruz got its park but not its asylum.
In 1974, a group of teachers recovering from strokes conceived of a center offering classes on how to get well or how to live with a disability. The Cabrillo College Stroke Center was located in the park’s abandoned naval building, thus fulfilling de Laveaga’s original dream for his park.
Located at 850 N. Branciforte Drive, Santa Cruz.
Coordinates: 36°59’57.2″N 122°00’11.5″W
De Laveaga, Eugene T., “The Story of José Vicente de Laveaga Aguirre’s Will”. Unpublished account.
Gibson, Ross Eric, “DeLaveaga Left His Fortune for Parks and for Charity”, the San Jose Mercury News, November 1, 1994, p. 1B. http://www.santacruzpl.org/history/articles/223/ (retrieved 2015-05-21)
_________ A History of De Laveaga and his Park. De Laveaga Park, Santa Cruz, California, 2001.
Bodega Bay and Harbor
Bodega Bay is a shallow, rocky inlet of the Pacific Ocean on the coast of northern California. Bodega Bay is protected on its north end from the Pacific Ocean by Bodega Head, which shelters the small Bodega Harbor and is separated from the main bay by a jetty. The village of Bodega Bay sits on the east side of Bodega Harbor. The bay connects on its south end to the mouth of Tomales Bay.
Discovered in 1602-03 by Sebastian Vizcaíno‘s expedition, the present Bodega Bay was first charted in 1775 by the Basque-Peruvian navigator Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra (Lima, 1743 – Mexico, 1794).
On October 3 of that year, Bodega was returning to Monterey, having explored the Northwest Coast of North America as far north as present day Alaska, when they reached a large bay. Indians in canoes appeared from every direction and gathered on a height, shouting at the men on the small schooner Sonora. When Bodega saw them, he realized that he was not in San Francisco, as he had thought.
Quadra was of Basque origin. His father, Tomás de la Bodega y Quadra, was Bizkaian, having been born in Muskiz in 1701. His mother, although born in Lima, was also the daughter of a Basque father, from Bilbao. Bodega had returned from Europe in 1774 with five other officers after having completed his studies at the Academia de Guardiamarinas (Coast Guard Academy) in Cádiz. Due to the prejudices of the time, the fact that he was not born in Spain was always an obstacle to his career.
The bay that was originally named for him is not present day Bodega, but Tomales Bay.
California Registered Historical Landmark – 833
Located at Doran Park, 1.6 miles west of State Hwy 1 on Doran Beach Road, 0.5 miles south of Bodega Bay
Coordinates: 38°19′25″N 123°02′52″W
The Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail
The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is a 1,210-mile (1,950km) unit of the National Park Service in the United States National Historic Trail and National Millennium Trail Programs and commemorates the 1775–1776 land route that Juan Bautista de Anza (Fronteras, Sonora, 1736 – Arizpe, Sonora, 1788) took from the Sonora y Sinaloa Province of New Spain in Colonial Mexico through to the Las Californias Province. The goal of the trip was to establish a mission and presidio on the San Francisco Bay. The trail was an attempt to ease the course of Spanish colonization of California by establishing a major land route north for many to follow.
Anza started promoting the need for a land route to California in 1772. That year, he asked Viceroy Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa for permission to lead an expedition, adding to his own petition the one his father, Juan Bautista Anza Sr. (Hernani, Gipuzkoa, 1693 – Sonoran Desert, 1740) had circulated to the same end. According to David J. McLaughlin, “the project was not the ambitious move of a young officer eager to advance. Anza had a deeper motive. Apaches had killed his father, Juan Bautista de Anza Sr., in 1740 when Anza Jr. was barely 3. Anza´s father had talked about the need to discover a trail to the Coast and had done some preliminary exploration in 1737. The trail was an Anza family project.”
In 2005, Caltrans began posting signs on roads that overlap with the trail route, so that travelers can now follow the trail.
Also named for Anza is the Anza-Borrego Desert California State Park located primarily in eastern San Diego County. The park contains a long and difficult stretch of the Anza trail and a full sized statue of Anza.
In addition, the Anza name is honored in many other locations in California: Juan Bautista de Anza Community Park in Calabasas; De Anza Park in Ontario; De Anza Park in Sunnyvale; De Anza Boulevards in San Mateo and Cupertino; Juan Bautista Circle in San Francisco; Anza Street in San Francisco; Lake Anza in Tilden Regional Park above Berkley; De Anza College in Cupertino; De Anza High School in Richmond; Juan De Anza Primary School in Hawthorne; De Anza Middle School in Ontario; De Anza Middle School in Ventura; De Anza Elementary School in El Centro; De Anza School in Baldwin Park plus the De Anza Hotel in San Jose and the historic De Anza Hotel in Calexico as well as the town of Anza, California on Highway 371 in the mountains south of Palm Springs.
Garate, Donald T. (2003). Juan Bautista de Anza: Basque Explorer in the New World 1693—1740. Reno, University of Nevada Press.
Guerrero, Vladimir (2006). The Anza Trail and the Settling of California. Berkeley, California, Heyday Books.
McLaughlin, David J. (2011). Soldiers, scoundrels, poets, priests. Pentacle Press, Phoenix, Arizona.
Counties of the Eastern Sierra Nevada
As sheep were driven north along the Eastern Sierra Sheep Trail, and as they reached the mountain meadows, the Basque sheepherders would often make their camps in the aspen groves that provided shelter from the wind. Having a lot of time on their hands as the sheep grazed the meadows, many herders used this time to leave their mark on the white bark of the aspens. The practice started as early as the earliest herders and continues today by non-Basque herders. The subject matter varied greatly from simple designs to intricate drawings.