The Importance of Finding and Having a Plan Do you dream of...
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In 1867, a man named Alonzo Horton got off of a steamer from San Francisco, and went ashore on land that is currently known as San Diego. Mr. Horton was duly impressed with what he saw. He had been all over that world, but considered this place the most beautiful that he had ever seen. This sentiment is share by millions of others, residents, and visitors, with unceasing repetition, for over 100 Years.
Although Mr. Horton wasn't the first, he was certainly most influential real estate speculator in San Diego in the history of a community whose story might be told in real estate speculation. Mr. Horton also wasn't the first to be attracted by the natural harbor in San Diego and stunning beauty.
For 100s of years, as far back as 9000 B.C., this region belonged to the first Americans in the region of Southern California, currently known as San Dieguito. Much the same as modern people from California, these San Dieguito were looking for, and found the best places to live.
The Kumeyaay or Diegueno Indians arrived in the area about 1000 B. C., and mixed with the Indians that were already here. Until the 1500's, when a man named Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, was exploring for Spain and sailed into the Harbor of San Diego, this uncharted paradise was theirs.
Juan Cabrillo, was the first European to arrive on Southern California soil, but didn't intend to establish a settlement. While looking for a northwest passage to link the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, he discovered San Diego. After his arrival in 1542, which just happened to be on the eve of the feast day of Saint Michael the Archangel, he called his discovery San Miguel. However, San Miguel was ignored by outsiders for numerous years.
In 1602, another explorer, named Sebastian Vizcaino, was sailing north next to the California coast for Spain, and arrived in San Miguel. He changed to name to San Diego. However, faster fortunes as well as the enhancement of a growing empire elsewhere in the Orient and the Pacific attracted explorers away from San Diego. It would be another 167 years the colonization started.
During the middle 1700's, the reluctance of Spain to colonize the remainder of California as well as Baja California discouraged fur traders from Russia, who had sailed across the Aleutians and were relocating down the coast of northwest America. As opposed to waging a full-scale military operation against the local Indians to establish control, Spain sent military support to the mission priests, who were attempting to make Christians of the Indians. Not incidentally, during the process, they raised the flag of Spain.
An advisor of the Spanish King known as Charles III named Jose de Galvez, organized a militia in order to establish a stronghold at Monterey in Alta, or upper California, and Spain started its push north from the Baja California peninsula. The Catalonian captain, named Don Gaspar de Portola, led the military forces, and the Franciscan priest, named Fray Junipero Serra, led the charge for the church, a string of missions, pueblos and presidios were established. San Diego, whose natural harbor was at the halfway point between Monterey and Loreto in Baja California, was the first base for the expedition.
The overland march to San Diego from Loreto certainly had its problems. Indian servants died or deserted, water was scarce, and they ran out of food. However, Portola and Serra arrived in San Diego during the summer of 1769. Portola and a group of men continued their march on to Monterey Bay, although Serra remained behind. The first mission in California, named San Diego de Alcala, was dedicated in 1769. Sometime later, Serra established a series of some 21 missions in California.
Well into the 1800's, the Spanish mission system not only survived but also prospered, with a healthy commerce in the trading of leatherwork, grain, wine, and hides. However, in 1821 when Mexico declared its independence from Spain, forces were started that destroyed the old system. The Mexican government started parceling out the mission property to political favorites, after long pressure from the Spanish-Mexican pioneers of California.
The Mission San Diego de Alcala and its 58,000 acres were granted to Don Santiago Arguello in 1846 by Mexico Governor Pio Pico. By then, the settlement of San Diego was located at the foot of the presidio in a region currently known as known as Old Town, and had a population of approximately 350 people.
However, by then, the war between Mexico and the United States had reached the West Coast. San Diego was taken by forces of the United States with minimum resistance, with its strategic Southern California port. In 1847, when the war ended, San Diego, established as the first Spanish mission in California nearly 80 years, and under Mexican rule for the last 25 years, became a part of the United States.
However, the ceding of San Diego to the United States didn't make for an immediate boom. The fact is that by the end of the Civil War, the population of San Diego had decreased by one half. Northern California was settled by the gold rush, while southern California was ultimately settled by a land rush.
The Importance of Finding and Having a Plan Do you dream of...