Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mexican Land Grants

It was the year 1840, and today was a great day in the lives of the Borondas. They were on their way to occupy their land grant from Governor Alvarado, the 6,625-acre Los Laureles.

The only dwellings along their route were occasional shacks in the
Indian Rancherías. Dispersed by the secularization of the mission, many of the Indians had suffered great hardship and few had been able to keep their allotments of mission property. Men like José Antonio Romero,the first of the Carmel mission's civil administrators, were ambitious and more than ready to exploit the Indians. Romero had also tried to get Los Laureles for himself a few years earlier, but Governor Alvarado had given the land to Boronda, son of the retired corporal.

There had been other land grants bestowed in the Carmel Valley. In 1839 the 4,367-acre Rancho Cañada de la Segunda, through which the Borondas were passing, had been granted to Lazaro Soto. And mounting the wild reaches of the Santa Lucias to the southeast was the 4,307 acre Rancho Potrero de San Carlos, granted to Fructuoso del Real in 1837, as well as the 8,814-acre San Francisquito, given in 1835 to Doña Catalina Manzanelli de Munrás. But none of the grantees had chosen to occupy their land.

At the eastern end of the valley, beyond Los Laureles, Rafael Gomez had built a two-story adobe on the Rancho Los Tularcitos, granted him by Governor Figueroa in 1834.

Source: “Monterey County The Dramatic Story of Its Past
Monterey Bay, Big Sur, Carmel, Salinas Valley”
, by Agusta Fink, 1972.
Western Tanager Press/Valley Publishers, San Francisco, California.
Copyright 1972.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Church Homestead

The Church Family and their Homestead (1884 to 1907)
Thomas William Church was born in Londonderry, Ireland, in September of 1836. His father died when he was about ten years old, and soon afterwards he emigrated to North America with his mother, first to Canada and then to the state of New York. He made his living as a farmer during the summer and in the lumber industry during the winter.

In September of 1888 Thomas Church filed a preemptive claim to 120 acres on and to the south of The Mesa, and in December of the same year he filed a claim to 160 acres of land that included The Caves. Mr. Church purchased a patent to The Mesa property in June of 1891, and in July of 1897 he was awarded a homestead patent to The Caves property.10 The original boundaries of both properties were displaced half of a mile to the north of the land Mr. Church had intended to claim. Mr. Church almost certainly based the locations of his claims on their relationship to Tassajara Hot Spring.

From Double Cone Quarterly

The Caves ranch house in 1920. It is presumed that this is the structure built by Andrew Church after the original house burnt down in 1902. The photograph was taken L. S. Slevin 73 days after Fred Nason sold the property to William Lambert. Photo courtesy of the Monterey County Public Library.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vocabulary of the Rumsen language

"Vocabulary of the Rumsen language of the Indians of Carmel. Obtained from the Indian Ventura or Buenaventura, the blind Indian of Carmel who was born at Carmel in 1809. Monterey, July 27, 1878. Alph. Pinart"

English............Spanish..................Costanoan IV
my friend........mi amigo...................ka-ius; kaaius
shaman ..........hechicero medico...........oss
a just man .......hombre justo..................misissinanuikkiam
a false man ......hombre falso..................onponciauanuikkiam
bow huan haras
arrow ...............flecha...............teps, karroc (with flint)
temescal ..........temescal ........uet
moon .................luna.................orpeto ismen
star ...................estrella..................pakararkt;pakerrar (stars)
flash of lightning......relampago..............uexokp; selp (plur.)
Carmel del Carmel..................tirus ua corx


Ohlone hut made of tule reeds from:

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ambystoma californiense

The California tiger salamander (Ambystoma californiense) is an amphibian native to Northern California growing up to 8 inches long. California tiger salamanders migrate at night from upland habitats to aquatic breeding sites during the first major rainfall events of fall and early winter.

The California tiger salamander eats earthworms, snails, insects and fish.

Its numbers have dropped due to habitat loss, predation from crayfish and bullfrogs, being hit by cars during migration and interbreeding with the non-native tiger salamanders.

The California tiger salamander spends the summer underground in ground squirrel burrows. After the first few heavy rains in the fall, they come out of their burrows and migrate to breeding pools.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Arroyo Seco River

The relatively little known Arroyo Seco River drains the eastside of the Ventana Mountains in California's scenic central Coast Range. The Arroyo Seco sustains a small population of the threatened steelhead trout, a federally protected species that migrates all the way from the Pacific Ocean to spawn in the clean riffles and deep cold pools of the river.

The Arroyo Seco River is the only major tributary of the Salinas River that remains undammed. The river flows east from the crest of the Santa Lucia Mountains, then north along a major fault line, and then east again into the Salinas Valley.

The lower Arroyo Seco River flows through solid bedrock smoothed by water, tumbling over numerous cascades, and forming deep pools that invite swimming.

The upper Arroyo Seco River takes you past a spectacular sandstone formation known as "The Rocks" and up a scenic canyon with several cascades and pools.

Friends of the River

Neotoma fuscipes luciana

The Monterey dusky-footed woodrat (N. f. luciana), a subspecies which occurs in coastal central California, is also considered a California Species of Special Concern.

Unlike the Old World rats, the dusky-footed woodrat is native to North America. From Washington state southward to California, they live in dense vegetation, preferably among oak trees (Quercus spp.). Dusky-footed woodrats have the unusual habit of collecting and accumulating woody debris and most any available small object into piles or nests which serve as living quarters, hence, the name packrat.

A Species of Special Concern (SSC) is a species that is experiencing serious (noncyclical) population declines or range retractions that, if continued could qualify it for State threatened or endangered status.

"Species of Special Concern" is an administrative designation and carries no formal legal status.

From University of Califonia Oak Woodland Management

The Republic of California 1846

The California Republic was never recognized by any nation, and existed for less than one month, but its flag (the "Bear Flag") survives as the flag of the State of California.

1846 June – About a dozen Americans seized a large herd of horses from a Mexican military commandant. Another group of Americans captured Sonoma, the chief settlement north of San Francisco. Led by William B. Ide, the Americans issued a declaration of independence and hoisted a flag, its white ground emblazoned with a grizzly bear facing a red star. On June 25 U.S. Capt. John Charles Frémont arrived at Sonoma and gave his support to the Bear Flag Revolt. And on July 5 the insurrectionists elected Frémont the new President of the “Republic of California.”

A few days after the Bear Flag was raised, William Ide issued a proclamation setting forth the goals of the new California Republic: " establish and perpetuate a liberal, a just and honorable Government, which shall secure to all civil, religious and personal liberty; which shall insure the security of life and property; which shall encourage industry, virtue and literature...relying on love of Liberty and hatred of Tyranny. And further promises that a Government...must originate among its people: its officers should be its servants..."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Garland Ranch Regional Park

Garland Ranch Regional Park

This 4500 acre park ranges in elevation from 200 feet along the beautiful Carmel River to about 2000 feet at Snively's Ridge overlooking the entire valley.

Garzas Creek gently bisects the park and provides a peaceful, shaded trail that reaches a secluded side canyon of redwoods.

Projectile Point Types

Projectile Point Types, National Parks Service

San Clemente Dam

San Clemente Dam
Follow Carmel River Road about two miles east of the Village.
Turn right on San Clemente Drive.
Becomes San Clement Road as you keep going upriver.

San Clemente Dam

Los Laureles Lodge

The popular Los Laureles Lodge dates back to the early 1830s when it was deeded to Señor Jose Boronda by the Mexican government. It was one of the largest of those early land grants, roughly 7,000 acres.

The Pacific Improvement Company built the Del Monte Hotel in 1879 and also acquired several thousand acres of the Rancho Los Laureles area. At that time, and even after Del Monte Properties bought the property in 1915, the Rancho Los Laureles was the place for many visiting dignitaries from other countries