Now the largest city in northern California, San Jose was founded November 29, 1777, twenty years before Mission San Jose was built, as a farming community to provide food for Spain’s presidios (forts) in Monterey and San Francisco Bay. Its original name was El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe (the Town of Saint Continue reading CA Places: San Jose
The migration of nearly two million Irish during 1845-1849 first brought the custom of Halloween to America. Irishmen by the thousands came to California for the Gold Rush from 1849 forward, although the traditions of adult legend-telling and children’s games on All Hallows Eve probably took a back seat to other considerations in those years. Almanacs of the period make no mention of Halloween in their lists of holidays until later in the 19th century. Have a safe & happy Halloween.
Established in 1851, Amador City Cemetery on Church Street is a historian’s treasure trove of 19th century inscriptions that tell their own stories of immigrants to the Golden State who—presumably with very high hopes—had traveled a very long distance to make a better life for themselves and their families. Maryland native Continue reading Amador Cemetery
In October 1849, more than 100 wagons left the Salt Lake City region opting to take the Old Spanish Trail to the pueblo of Los Angeles, and from there north to the gold fields. For some of them, their journey became a saga of adversity, loss, extreme hardship, and sheer grit. Twenty-seven wagons unwisely took a Continue reading Death Valley
The loss of his law library to fire in 1852 prompted New York attorney Leland Stanford to migrate to California, to join brothers who were already successful merchants in Gold Rush Sacramento. Leland managed the Stanford Brother’s wholesale business on K Street, became wealthy, and involved himself in local politics. In Continue reading The Stanford Mansion