Thursday, September 26, 2019

The First Spanish Grant of Land


The first Spanish grant of land to an individual in California was to Manuel Butron (1727-1793), a soldier from the Monterey presidio who had married a baptized Indian woman. Father Serra approved of Spaniards marrying converted Indian women and supported Butron's petition for a grant of land. 
In 1775, Butron was granted a small concession in the Carmel Valley
Interestingly, although he seems eventually to have lost his land grant, a number of Mutsun today can trace ancestry back to the Butron family.
Manuel Butron was buried in the floor of the chapel of Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Carmelo.

From: Protect Juristac
Map from: Amah Mutsun

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Indians resisted the yoke, and many died in resistance


The Spanish missions were established in California late in the 18th century. They were the work of father Serra who'd walked on his martyrs bare feet from Mexico to Monterey. A garrulous fanatic, Serra committed himself to "slipping the gentle yoke of Christ” over the heads of "neophytes," as unyoked Indians were called by the Franciscans, all of whom had been born in Spain. 
The Indians resisted the yoke, and many died in a resistance so fierce and unyielding that they killed the babies born of rapes by the Spanish soldiers who accompanied the missionaries up and down Spanish California from San Diego to San Rafael and Sonoma.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

California Condor Comeback


The California condor, North America's largest bird, once ruled California's coastal mountains. The vulture-like bird was revered by Native Americans and was believed to contain spiritual powers.

Now, condor reintroduction celebrates a milestone: Chick Number 1,000 has hatched.

From KCRW
Image from: TripSavvy

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Ole Swimming Hole On The Carmel River


The Ole Swimming Hole On The Carmel River Just Below The Bucket Inn, 1957

Consuming More Water From the Carmel River is no Longer Feasible



Consuming more water drawn from the Carmel River is no longer feasible, neither ecologically nor legally. 

The California Public Utilities Commission ruled in September that the best way forward was for California American Water to construct a $329 million desalination plant on the Peninsula.

From: Monterey County Now
Picture From: Sandpiper Inn

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It’s Called a Genocide


Joining with tribal leaders beneath an Oak tree along the Sacramento River, Governer Gavin Newsom formally apologized Tuesday for California’s role in the “systemic slaughter” of Native Americans.

“It’s called a genocide. That’s what it was: a genocide. No other way to describe it. And that’s the way it needs to be described in the history books,” Newsom said. “So I am here to say the following: I’m sorry on behalf of the state of California.

 California’s first governor, Peter Burnett, told the Legislature that “a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct.” The state spent $1.3 million subsidizing dozens of militia campaigns against Native Americans over the next decade.

From SF Chronicle

Removal of the El Camino Real bell marker

On Friday June 21, representatives of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and the UC Santa Cruz administration will assemble on campus with interested community members to witness the removal of the El Camino Real bell marker.

“The true history of the California mission system has never been told. It is shameful that these places where our ancestors were enslaved, whipped, raped, tortured and exposed to fatal diseases have been whitewashed and converted into tourist attractions.”

For the Indians who toiled in California’s mission compounds the ringing of the bell regimented an iron-clad schedule of forced prayer and compulsory labor. The bell was a potent symbol of the domination of the Catholic Church and the Spanish state over all aspects of the lives of the indigenous people who were forced to live “under the bell.”

From IndyBay

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo


The Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo in Monterey Presidio was founded by Franciscan Father Saint Junipero Serra as the chapel of Mission San Carlos Borromeo on June 3rd, 1770 near the native village of Tamo.

From: Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay Areas

Beautiful Carmel River, mid-May 2019


From: Carmel River Watershed Conservancy

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Four Years After California’s Largest Dam Removal

The destruction of the San Clemente Dam, which had blocked the river since 1921, remains the largest dam removal project in California history.  The river is becoming wilder, and struggling fish populations are rebounding. So far this year, 123 Steelhead Trout have traveled upriver.

At the Carmel River other species, such as lampreys, an eel-like fish, are coming back, and tributaries are showing more wildlife.

Photo by Vern Fisher

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Papal Bull Inter Caetera Started the European Colonization of the New World


In 1493, Pope Alexander VI issued the papal bull Inter Caetera, which started the European colonization of the New World. 

"Among other works well pleasing to the Divine Majesty and cherished of our heart, this assuredly ranks highest, that in our times especially the Catholic faith and the Christian religion be exalted and be everywhere increased and spread, that the health of souls be cared for and that barbarous nations be overthrown and brought to the faith itself...We...assign to you and your heirs and successors, Kings of Castile and Leon...all islands and mainlands found and to be found, discovered and to be discovered towards the west and south, by drawing and establishing a line from...the north...to...the south...the said line to be distant one hundred leagues towards the west and south from any of the islands commonly known as the Azores and Cape Verde…"

From: Church Militant

Friday, April 12, 2019

The Cahoon Ranch


The Cahoon family built the original ranch house at Hastings Natural History Reservation in the 1890s, which is still there. They were some of the original homesteaders in the area and played a key role in Carmel Valley’s history.

The Cahoon Ranch dates back to the 1850’s when it was founded by the Finch family. At one time it included 1,500 acres. Two brothers, Charles and Burritt Cahoon, migrated from Ohio to California sometime after the Civil War. Each married a daughter of James Finch. Together the brothers owned what became known as the Cahoon Ranch.

Cahoon Summit is named in honor of the family’s legacy. The summit marks the highest point on the road from Carmel to Greenfield.

From: The Pinecone
Picture from: Realtor

Friday, April 5, 2019

All of the Indians Had to be Exterminated

California presents the clearest case of genocide in the history of the American frontier. There was no attempt to conceal what was done to the Indians in California. “A massacre, a lynching or a whole killing campaign—these things were hidden in plain sight.”

It was a widely held belief in 19th-century California that all of the Indians had to be exterminated. Reported the Daily Alta California, “Whites are becoming impressed with the belief that it will be absolutely necessary to exterminate the savages before they can labor much longer in the mines with security.”

From: Newsweek

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Cross of Caravaca



As the terrified priest began to celebrate the Mass, he realized that the cross was missing and he faltered and stopped. Suddenly a brilliant light flooded the chamber and two Angels appeared bearing a two armed cross which they placed on the altar. The grateful priest continued with the celebration of Mass, and at the moment of consecration in place of the host, the king saw a beautiful baby which gazed at him with such tenderness and compassion that he fell to his knees and declared his intention to convert to Christianity.

The Cross of Caravaca


On May 3, 1232 the Moorish King Zeyt Abu-Zeyt ordered that the prisoners languishing in the dungeons be brought before him so he could decide their fate. Among them was a missionary priest named Don Gines Perez Chirios de Cuenca whose profession and religious beliefs piqued the curiosity of the king. The Muslim king was particularly fascinated by the Eucharist and demanded that the priest perform this sacrament for him upon pain of death.

The Cross of Caravaca



The Cross of Caravaca
The region of Murcia in southeastern Spain takes its name from the Latin word “Morus” meaning mulberry. The region was a thriving area of silk production for centuries. By the 13th century its territory was under the rule of the last Muslim Empire to rule in Southern Spain – the North African based Almohades
King Ferdinand III reclaimed the territory from the Moors in the name of Christianity in the 15th century.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo



"The open grave was blessed and incensed, then the body of the Father-President of all the California missions was lowered into the sanctuary floor. The lamenting cries mixed with the prayers and chanting of the rite, as all in attendance knew that a Saint had passed from their midst."

From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Carmel River at Schulte Bridge


From: Monterey Peninsula Water Management District

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

California’s First Mass Incarceration System


From Benjamin Madley's essay "California’s First Mass Incarceration System: Franciscan Missions, California Indians, and Penal Servitude, 1769–1836," in Pacific Historical Review 88, no. 1 (Winter 2019): 14-47.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo


The sandstone for the church was quarried by Indian laborers. The walls are five feet thick at the base. The entire façade, especially the bell towers and the window over the main door, displays a distinct Moorish design influence.

From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo


In 1961 Pope John XXIII designated the church as a Minor Basilica.
From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo



The resident pastor in Monterey, decided to open the tombs in the sanctuary to quiet the persistent rumors that Fr. Serra’s body had been removed. After the remains were identified and the tombs resealed.

In 1943, the body of Father Serra was again examined in preparation for his possible canonization, which finally occurred in 2015.
From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo


"Fr. Lasuen was named Father-President in 1785, and he direct the construction of the present stone church, which was built by the Indians and dedicated in 1797.  During these years the mission reached the height of its prosperity, as the population of baptized natives reached nearly one thousand.  "

From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo



"The open grave was blessed and incensed, then the body of the Father-President of all the California missions was lowered into the sanctuary floor. The lamenting cries mixed with the prayers and chanting of the rite, as all in attendance knew that a Saint had passed form their midst."


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Los Padre Dam Site 1947

Map of Los Padre Dam Site 1947

From: 1947 Original Topography

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo


"In the afternoon, a procession was formed, and the officers carried the remains of Padre Serra on their shoulders around the courtyard of the mission.  The procession the reentered the church, and the coffin was placed at the foot of the altar. "

From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo


"Fr. Palou told the Indians to ring the doble de campana with the mission bells to announce the parting of Fr Serra. The vigil was kept and the Requiem Mass was offered the next day. The Indian choir provided the music, and hundreds of Indians from every Rancheria in the area of Carmel were among the mourners. "

From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo



"On the day before his death, Father Serra asked his dear friend Father Palou to stay with him and assist his dying. Serra asked Palou for the Viaticum, the final reception of Holy Communion before death. Serra insisted on going to the church for this ritual. He had also called for the presidio carpenter to prepare his coffin. The Father-President spent his last night on earth in his cell, deep in prayer."

From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo

"The pathetic ruin at Carmel is a shattered monument above a grave that will become a world's shrine of pilgrimage in honor of one of humanity's heroes.  The patient that here laid down its burden will not be forgotten. The memory of the brave heart that was here consumed with love for mankind will live through the ages. And, in a sense, the work of these missions is not dead-their very ruins still preach the lesson of service and of sacrifice."

John F. Davis, California Romantic and Resourceful, 1914

From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo

"To get hold of gaudily colored cloth or any kind of rags, the Natives will jump out of their skins or take any risk. What I would like to imprint deep in their hearts is this: "Induimini Dominum Jesum Christum" May this be granted them by our most generous Lord and Father who clothes the birds with feathers and the hillsides with grass."

-Junipero Serra, Diary of the Expedition, 1769

From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo

"Our arrival was greeted by the joyful sound of the bells suspended from the branches of the Oak tree. Kneeling down with all the men toward the altar, I intoned the hymn Veni, Creator Spiritus, at the conclusion of which I blessed the salt and the water. Then we all made our way to a gigantic Cross which was all in readiness and lying on the ground. With everyone lending a hand we set it in an upright position. I sang the prayers for its blessing. We set it in the ground and then, with all the tenderness of our hearts, we venerated it. I sprinkled with Holy Water all the fields around.

And thus, after raising aloft the standard of the King of Heaven, we unfurled the flag of our Catholic Monarch likewise. As we raised each one of them, we shouted at the top of our voices: "Long Live the Faith! Long  Live the King!" All the time the bells were ringing and our rifles were being fired and from the boat came the thunder of the big guns."

-Letter to Juan Andres, from Monterey, 1770

From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo

"I, Fray Junipero Serra, vow and promise to Almighty God, to the ever blessed Virgin Mary, to Blessed Father Francis, to all the saints, and to you, Father, to observe for the whole span of my life the rule of the Friars minor confirmed by His Holiness, Pope Honorius III, by living in obedience, without property, and in chastity."
-Profession as a Franciscan, 1731

From: Saint Junipero Serra's Camino

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo



Abalone Shells
 May they be honored, and may we be reminded of their long term presence, their rich culture and humanity and the importance that they hold for their descendants today.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo



Abalone Shells
These symbolic grave sites, adorned with abalone shells, represent the many hundreds of indigenous people buried in this graveyard and beyond.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo



The Grave of Old Gabriel
Baptized by Father Serra in 1780, Old Gabriel claimed he was present in 1770 when Father Serra said the first Mission mass on June 3rd, after landing in Monterey. Although the tombstone records him to be 151 years of age, his age is not factually known.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo



In memory of the Christian Indians and Spaniards who were interred in this cemetery between the years 1771 - 1833

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo


Cork Oak, Carmel Mission

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo



After abandonment of the Carmel Mission in 1843, the roof collapsed circa 1852.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo


His remains rest under the Carmel Mission Basilica’s main altar. 

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo



“Always go Forward, and Never Turn Back” – Saint Junipero Serra

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo


In honor of Serra’s evangelism and the dignity he held for the native peoples he loved, Fray Junipero Serra is now Saint Junipero Serra

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo


Junipero Serra’s dedication and sustaining faith allowed him to overcome tremendous adversity. This devoted and selfless missionary died at the Carmel Mission on August 28, 1784, at the age of 70. His remains rest under the Carmel Mission Basilica’s main altar. 

Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo


Between 1769 and 1782, Fray Serra established nine missions. The remaining Alta California missions, ultimately numbers 21 were founded under the guidance of Fray Fermin Francisco De Lasuen and his successors.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo



Mission San Carlos Borromeo Del Rio Carmelo (The Carmel Mission), became the first headquarters for the California mission system.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo



The first restoration of the Carmel Mission by Fr. Casanova prevented further deterioration, circa 1884.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

In 1770, the padres set out for Monterey Bay where the second mission was temporarily located. 
Serra moved the mission in 1771, to the Carmel River six miles to the south, in order to better protect the baptized native peoples, called neophytes, and to take advantage of better water and agricultural conditions. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Vast numbers of souls had lived and died before the coming of the missionaries


But after the discovery of the New World, where apparently vast numbers of souls had lived and died before the coming of Columbus and the missionaries, some theologians proposed that these souls since they lived in invincible ignorance of the true faith, could have been saved without an explicit belief in Christ and the Trinity.

From: Catholicism.org

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo


The Carmel Mission embodies the living historical record of the Alta California mission system and the subsequent founding of the State of California. The Mission’s founder, Saint Junipero Serra is interred beneath the altar in the Basilica.

Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo


The 246 year old Carmel Mission has more than 1,500 priceless artifacts within 11 historic buildings on the 22 acre complex. The adobe walls are deteriorating, structures are over-stressed, and life-safety issues challenge continued enjoyment by the public.