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December 29, 1860: San Marino

December 29, 2010

Huntington & Granada, San Marino; by Zeetz Jones, on Flickr

Camp 4

The rain ceased, and we sent an advance camp out on Friday, December 28. Professor Whitney and I followed [today]. We camped on the ranch of Mr. Wilson…His ranch is in a beautiful plain, hemmed in on all sides by hills or mountains, except for one narrow opening to the sea, like a bay filled up. The hills on the west, toward Los Angeles, are not high. This valley plain is perhaps fifty or sixty thousand acres; his ranch is four leagues, about fourteen thousand acres. He also owns very extensive vineyards, the “Lake Vineyards,” which have as fine a reputation as any in the state.

When this part of the state belonged to Mexico, it was settled by the old Spanish missionaries, or padres as they are here called, who converted the Indians and formed great missions, wealthy and powerful. One was near Mr. Wilson’s, the Mission of San Gabriel. Thousands of natives were the voluntary slaves of these priests, vineyards of great extent were planted, and at the time of the confiscation of their property by the Mexican Government they had twenty thousand horses, eighty thousand cattle, etc. All now is in ruins.

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