News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

‘Time Jockey ’

by Joe Castillo

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Missions After Serra ….

   Father Junipero Serra died in 1784 at Mission San Carlos. During his time being the leader of Mission growth, Serra oversaw the building of nine missions.  Another 12 Missions were built after his death resulting in 21 California Missions functioning under Spanish and Mexican rule. After secularization in the 1830’s, the Missions were abandoned and dismantled. Their assets were taken or given away to non-Indians, and the Missions lost their prestigious position in California politics. The Indians also lost their status gained while under the Spanish and Mexicans to Americans who sought to acquire their lands and other assets for their own gains. The Indians were pushed away from their home lands to dry, desolate areas which the transient Americans did not want. The conclusion of the Mexican-American War, the Gold rush and California’s entrance in the Union in 1850 brought large reductions in the Indian population. Forced to work unproductive lands with illegal wages levels, Indians lost nearly all rights which they had worked hard for under Spanish and Mexican rule. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, through the effort of local supporters and preservationists, the Missions would become tourist attractions sporting an architectural design which become symbolic of California. Romanized stories of Indians through plays and books, such as Ramona and The Mission Play, also showed California Indians is a more favorable light. Their journey from their decline to their rise mirrors the rise and fall of Missions. Both will be entwined forever in the History of California ….  Anza Dream…. Juan Bautista de Anza’s father had a dream to find the first overland route from Mexico to Alta California, but his life was cut short and he died when Juan was 3 years old. Anza kept his father’s dream alive and when he was ready, he asked the Viceroy of New Spain, Antonio Maria Bucareli to allow him to prove the existence of an overland route. Bucareli agreed and permission was granted for an overland expedition.  Following Indian trading routes and Mission projected routes, Anza identified a path in 1774. The path allowed Anza to include a large number of livestock in the expedition and provided supplies for his large group of settlers. It was Spain’s goal to establish the first colony in a place called el Rio San Francisco, but it was Anza’s goal to safely deliver the settlers in the expedition. It was the same goal his father had and now it was being fulfilled through his son, Juan Bautista de Anza….

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News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.
‘Time Jockey ’