Sunday, July 5, 2009

Portola came through Brea Cañon in 1769

Located on Brea Canyon road there is a memorial marker, many wonder what it is or says but very few have actually gotten out of there car to see what it is. I investigated one day and here is what I found.

It reads:

With 60 men camped here July 31 1769 on his march from San Diego to Montery dedicated June 2, 1932 Grace Parlor No. 242 Native Daughters of the golden west."
After doing some research on Portola, I found that he was a Spanish conquistador who was responsible, along with Father Junipero Serra, for planting missions along the coast of California. Portola started out on July 13, 1769 working his way up the coast. On July 31, 1769 he camped in Brea, I could find no info if he did anything other than just camp here, so I'll assume that's it. On August 2, he had reached Los Angeles, Santa Barbra on the 19th, and had reached the mouth of the Salinas river on Oct. 1, but fog obscured the Santa Cruz shore, making the rough bay look like open ocean, reaching Santa Cruz on October 18th and the San Francisco Bay area on October 31. They realized they had missed the harbor of Monterey and did not find it on their return to San Diego. The difficult journey had lasted six months and they had failed to reach their goal. Nonetheless, their voyage is commemorated as a interesting piece of California history. As you can see, this placard was donated in the early days of Brea, way back in 1932 by the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Grace parlor 242, who is an organization of California born women who are devoted to preserving California history. The plaque alone is a piece of history, with it's heavy-duty bronze construction it dates from the early days of Brea, 1932! Stop by sometime and take a look at the marker, it is located in front of (the former) Brea Cañon Oil Company property gate. There will be a spot where you can pull your car or bike off the road. Be safe!