Monday, October 1, 2012

Karin asked

Every year I get to write a little of history and include it in our brochures for the Latino Heritage Parade & jamaica.   Sandra Gutierrez, our Committee Chair,  did a beautiful job on the brochure - here is my much simpler version - text is same in both.  Karin asked for a peek. How could I say, "No"?

"In 1840 what we know as the San Gabriel Valley was still a part México. Life in Alta California was separate, slightly different form of la cultura Mexicana.  Some of the migrants of that time were Atlantic Yanquis who became a part of the “Californio” culture.  Landowners Benito Wilson, Abel Stearns, Jaun Bandini, and Eulalia Pérez de Guillen de Mariné all spoke and did business in Spanish. 
Eulalia Pérez de Guillén Mariné
People with the last names Ávila, Coronél, Sepulveda, Garfias, Bandini, Eaton, owned, managed or lived on Rancho El Rincón de Pascual and its neighbor ranchos.  Doña Eulalia and her daughters are a part of our regional story, as are Victoria Reid, Arcadia Bandini, Encarnacion Sepulveda - women too often left out of our shared history. Cultivating land and family were the work of countless husbands and wives who lived here.  Educating in reason, responsibility and religion filled hours and hours of lives: aristocrat and worker alike.
Plat of San Pascual Rancho, U.S. Surveyors Office, September 18th, 1858
As a result of the U.S./Mexican War (1846-1848), the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was law.  Coupled with the Gold Rush and Manifest Destiny el Estado de Alta California became one of the United States of America.  By 1850 a historical rupture took that place forever changed language, laws, and identity of our valley.  Conflicts that we usually think of as being distant like El Cinco de mayo (Battle of Puebla) and the battles of the Civil War affected those who lived on Rancho San Pascual.  In 1858 Benito Wilson acquired the last of Rancho San Pascual from Manuel Garfias and the transition from Rancho San Pascual to San Pasqual Rancho signaled the end of one era and the beginning of another.


  1. And Karin says Thank you! This is my favorite period in California history -- actually stretching to about 1905. Because anything was possible and anything could have happened. But post 1905, the shape of Southern California was pretty much set in stone. We'll have to sit down and chat about it one day.

  2. Welcome. The complexities of living in an area where governmental and social guidelines are being established while development is always complex. The complexity is that much greater when you have things like a war taking place between two countries that share a common border. One of the things most folks don't know, for example, is that the first Constitution of the State of California was bilingual. With a very clear and precise (numbered even) section that set that it and other documents of that level of import should be bilingual. Glad you enjoyed this.

  3. I hadn't realized that someone like don Benito was doing business in Spanish.

  4. Almost all of the really early business folks worked in Spanish. In the case of Victoria Reid, Able Stearn served as the translator. After the parade excitement I'll share about some connections to I believe the Pasadena Museum of History, Pasadena, and the Lugo family.