Other names Tipai, Ipai, Diegueño, Luiseño Home region San Diego County, northern Baja California Mission affiliations San Diego de Alcalá, San Luis Rey de Francia Historical Background Kumeyaay (Spanish pronunciation: Kamia) is a name given to two closely-related groups, the Tipai and the Ipai, whose ancestral territory encompasses much of the far southwest of California. […]
Coast Miwok Tribe Facts
Home region: Marin and southern Sonoma Counties Mission affiliations: San Francisco de Asís, San Rafael, San Francisco Solano Historical background: Speakers of the Miwok language in northwestern Alta California were divided into Lake Miwok and Coast Miwok. Both Francis Drake in 1579 and Sebastián Rodríguez Cermeño in 1595 spoke of encountering the Coast Miwok. In addition […]
Chumash Tribe Facts
Other names: Obispeño, Ventureño, Barbareño, Purisimeño, Yneseño, Canalino Home region: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, as well as the Channel Islands, east to Castaic and Mt. Pinos. Mission affiliations: San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, San Buenaventura, Santa Bárbara, La Purísima Concepción, Santa Inés Historical background: Chumash is the name given to a number of […]
Junípero Serra’s Mallorca: Where it All Began
Mission San Francisco Solano Facts
Mission San Rafael Arcángel: The Hospital That Became a Mission
Originally built as a hospital outpost for Mission Dolores, Mission San Rafael Arcángel grew to become a successful mission in its own right. Nearby China Camp State Park offers a complementary glimpse into California’s unique history.
Native Americans of the San Francisco Bay Area (Part 2): Ohlone Culture
The second of a two part series. Read part 1 here. In this second part, we discuss Ohlone culture, including political organization, religion, myths, music and art, tools and crafts, the Ohlone today and Ohlone sites you can visit.
Native Americans of the San Francisco Bay Area: The Ohlone Tribe, Part 1
The Ohlone people occupied the San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions for thousands of years. Part 1 of a 2 part series. In the first part of this series, we will discuss the Ohlone name, their traditional territory, Ohlone languages, housing, food and clothes.
California Frontier Glossary: Vocabulary Words of the Mission and Presidio Era
Many words used to describe people and objects in Alta California are unfamiliar to us today.
Fr. José Altimira and Mission San Francisco Solano
Fr. José Altimira was a Spanish Franciscan priest who founded Mission San Francisco Solano, the last — and most controversial — of the Alta California missions.
California Mission Facts
Between 1769 and 1823 Spanish missionaries founded 21 missions up and down the coast of Alta California (today’s state of California). These missions were meant to continue the chain of missions extending north from the southern tip of Baja California. Below is a list of mission facts:
Choosing a Mission Site: San Miguel Arcángel
How was a mission site chosen? What factors went into the location of a mission? Who decided where to build a mission? When was Mission San Miguel Founded? Mission San Miguel Arcángel was founded on July 25, 1797 by Fr. Fermín de Lasuén and Fr. Buenaventura Sitjar. Important Steps Before establishing a Spanish mission in […]
Native Americans in the Rancho Era: Roberto-Suñol and Olompali
In 19th century California, some Indians sought to recover their native lands by requesting grants from the Mexican government. The Roberto-Suñol Adobe and Olompali State Historic Park commemorate two men who did just that.
Settlers on the California Frontier (Part 2): The Californios
What type of culture developed among settlers in Alta California? What did they call themselves? How did they live under Mexico and Spain? And how did they respond to American rule?
Settlers on the California Frontier (Part 1)
Who settled California? What was their life like? What were the first towns?
Indian Life at the California Missions — Santa Inés
How did native people live at Mission Santa Inés? What was daily life like? What languages did they speak? What foods did they eat? How did they dress?
Serra Statues: Don’t Tear Down, Build Up
Junípero Serra’s statues are being defaced. Government institutions are seeking to remove his name from public monuments. All in the name of justice. Is there a better way forward?
Indian Life at the California Missions — San Carlos Borromeo
How did native people live at Mission San Carlos Borromeo? What languages did they speak? What foods did they eat? How did they dress?
Researching the Early Days: The Sylveria Pacheco Project, Part 2
An update on an ongoing research project into the life of a Hispanic woman on the California frontier. In May, I told you about my research into the life of Sylveria Pacheco, a Californiana who had lived through Spanish, Mexican and American periods. I came across Sylveria as I was working on another project, and […]
Soldiers and Presidios in Alta California (with video)
Who were the soldiers that came to Alta California? What was their life like? What were the presidios, and what was their role on the frontier?