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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
San Gabriel in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Old Spanish Trail

1829-1848

 
 
Old Spanish Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose
1. Old Spanish Trail Marker
Inscription. The Old Spanish Trail was an historic pack trail connecting Santa Fe to the pueblo of Los Angeles. Travelers from Santa Fe aimed for the San Gabriel Mission as a welcome destination and gathering place. Traders brought woolen goods from New Mexico and returned with highly prized California mules and horses. The trail originated as a trade route from Santa Fe into central Utah during the Spanish Colonial days but was also used as an emigrant trail to California during the Mexican period.

Inset on right:
San Gabriel Mission
On September 8, 1771 founding Fathers Pedro Cambon and Angel Somera named the new mission for the Archangel Gabriel. It was the fourth in a chain of 21 missions built in California. In 1774, Juan Bautista de Anza arrived and established a formal overland route from Mexico City to California.

As trade between the United States and the new Republic of Mexico expanded, Santa Fe traders saw the potential for profits in dealing directly with California ranchers and church missions. In the fall of 1829, well after Mexican Independence from Spain, Antonio Armijo led a caravan westward from Sante Fe. He arrived at the San Gabriel Mission in January, 1830 with 60 men and pack mules loaded with woolen goods. Armijo returned to Santa Fe that spring with an additional 100 horses
Old Spanish Trail Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose
2. Old Spanish Trail Marker
and mules. For the first time, a trade and communication route was established between the Mexican provinces of New Mexico and California. Thus the Old Spanish Trail was born.

Following the success of Armijo’s expedition, San Gabriel Mission became a focal point for the lucrative trade. Traders, trappers and travelers coming west gathered here to conduct their business with the Californios. The Mission was one of the most prosperous in California, and the padres graciously provided food, rest and shelter to the travelers, weary from the long and difficult trail. Some of the visitors were no doubt rough and unruly, but all were treated with courtesy by the padres.

Governor Pio Pico secularized San Gabriel Mission in 1834 and much of the land became private property. In 1874, the Catholic Church was granted control of only 13 acres including the church.
 
Erected by Old Spanish Trail Association, Dale Querfeld, National Park Serve and BLM.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Juan Caspar de Portolá Expedition marker series.
 
Location. 34° 5.793′ N, 118° 6.395′ W. Marker is in San Gabriel, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is on Mission Road, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker
San Gabriel Mission image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose
3. San Gabriel Mission
is at or near this postal address: 530 Mission Road, San Gabriel CA 91776, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. San Gabriel Mission (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named San Gabriel Mission (a few steps from this marker); Mission San Gabriel Archangel / El Camino Real Door (a few steps from this marker); Lt. Colonel Juan Bautista De Anza (a few steps from this marker); 1776 Overland Immigration Expedition (within shouting distance of this marker); Joseph Chapman’s Millrace (within shouting distance of this marker); Early California (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); San Gabriel Veterans War Memorial (about 800 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in San Gabriel.
 
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
 
San Gabriel Mission Prior to 1913 image. Click for full size.
May 12, 2013
4. San Gabriel Mission Prior to 1913
San Gabriel Mission image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose
5. San Gabriel Mission
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 410 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California.   5. submitted on , by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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