Vaqueros were the most important workers in the mission and rancho eras. And some of the first vaqueros were Native American. Learn more about these unique figures on the California frontier. What Does “Vaquero” Mean? The word vaquero is usually translated as “cowboy” in English, and literally means “someone in charge of cows.” It also […]
What was daily life like for Native Americans at Mission San Gabriel Arcángel? What did they eat? What jobs did they do? An introduction to life at Alta California’s 4th Spanish Mission. Who Founded Mission San Gabriel? Mission San Gabriel Arcángel was the 4th mission established in Alta California. The mission was founded on September […]
The story of the Spanish missions in California isn’t always what it seems. By delving into Mexico’s National Archives, Dr. Marie Christine Duggan uncovered facts that provide a unique inside view of mission life. From murder trials to Indian militias, we talk about some of the lesser-known aspects of California mission history. Marie Christine Duggan […]
Author: Thomas Jefferson Mayfield Editor: Malcolm Margolin Illustrators: Hilair Chism, Rick Jones Paperback: 144 pages Publisher and Year: Heyday Books, 1997 As we perused the gift shop of a local history museum, I noticed my son was reading one of the books. Of course, if my children find a book about history that interests them, I pay […]
In the 1830’s, a young man named Pablo Tac wrote about his experiences growing up at Mission San Luis Rey. It is one of the only firsthand accounts written by a Native American who lived at a mission.
Juana Briones lived in Spanish, Mexican and U.S. California and she left her mark on all three. Now she is receiving the attention she deserves.
If you want to see a precious California landmark in the process of being saved for future generations, mark your calendar to visit the Joaquín Castro Adobe near Watsonville.
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?
Who settled California? What was their life like? What were the first towns?
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?
How did native people live at Mission San Carlos Borromeo? What languages did they speak? What foods did they eat? How did they dress?
In this episode, I speak with Greg Bernal-Mendoza Smestad, a direct descendant of the families who settled Alta California over 200 years ago. Greg talks to us about their journey, the character of those people who risked their lives to come to come north, and the legacy they passed on.
How did native people live at the Spanish missions in Alta California? What were their jobs? What did they eat? An in-depth look at Native American life in the California missions.
Tsunamis are a fact of life in seismic California, as mission history reminds us. Dr. Dan Krieger is Professor Emeritus of History at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and a leading expert on the California missions. He relates the story of a tsunami that occurred off California’s central coast while Father Luis Gil y Taboada was stationed at […]
One of the things people often ask about is what life was like on the California missions, especially Indian life. Some of the most important accounts of California Indian life at the missions come from the Interrogatorio (Questionnaire) that the Spanish Government sent to the priests of the California Missions in 1813.