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

Rogerio Rocha

Rogerio Rocha Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, January 9, 2017
1. Rogerio Rocha Marker
Inscription.  Rogerio Rocha was born in 1801, in the village of Mapanga, and was baptized in the San Fernando Mission. Rocha became a well-known blacksmith in California. In Rocha's early years he became the Captain of Mapanga, which is known today as the town of Chatsworth. He later became the Captain of the Fernandeño Tatavium people in the late 1800's.

As a young man, Rocha learned the trade of a blacksmith. Rocha became prosperous from his trade and purchased several acres of land throughout the San Fernando Valley. In his latter years Rocha settled on the ten acres in San Fernando at the northeast corner of Hubbard and Fourth Street, which was granted to him by an 1840 Mexican grant. On the property, Rocha constructed two adobe houses (made of sun-baked bricks), two tule houses (native traditional houses), two wood frame houses, and a fenced area where he cultivated.

In 1874 Charles Maclay purchased the land title "San Fernando Grant" previously owned by DeCelis, and tried to negotiate with Rocha to purchase his land. However, Rocha refused. In 1885 Maclay visited Rocha with a Los Angeles Sheriff and wanted him to sign over his land. Rocha replied,

Rogerio Rocha Marker image. Click for full size.
2. Rogerio Rocha Marker
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"I sign nothing". On November 1, 1885 two deputy sheriffs were ordered to evict Rocha from his land.

The eviction was cruel and unjustified. Rocha, then over eighty years old, his wife, another woman of nearly equal age, and six other persons who constituted his household were then homeless. The sheriff removed them by force in the midst of the winter, tumbled the two aged women with all their household effects into a wagon, and dropped them by the roadside, where they suffered without the slightest protection. With only some parched corn to sustain them, they spent eight rainy days by the side of the road. Meanwhile, Rocha went to Los Angeles to get permission from the priest to occupy an old dilapidated shed connected with the old Mission church.

As a result of the exposure, Rocha's wife soon died of pneumonia. From this time on, Rocha was an old homeless wanderer, who later lived his remaining life at Lopez Canyon, until his death in 1906.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Native Americans. A significant historical year for this entry is 1801.
Location. 34° 17.681′ N, 118° 26.633′ W. Marker is in San Fernando, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Hubbard Street and Fourth Street. In Rudy Ortega Park, formerly Heritage Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2025 Fourth Street, San Fernando CA 91340, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other

Rogerio Rocha image. Click for full size.
Photograph courtesy of the San Fernando Historical Society, circa 1890
3. Rogerio Rocha
Rocha was a famous Fernandeño Indian silversmith and blacksmith. Born in 1801 in San Fernando, California, he was trained by the Franciscan missionaries in his trade. In 1834, he was granted several acres of land at the San Fernando Mission and was buried there at his passing in 1904. - California State University, Northridge University Library
markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mission Wells (approx. 0.6 miles away); Casa de Lopez (approx. 0.9 miles away); Father Junipero Serra / Fray Junipero Serra (approx. 0.9 miles away); César Chávez Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); Mission Dam (approx. 1.3 miles away); San Fernando Mission (approx. 1.8 miles away); Mission San Fernando Rey de España (approx. 1.8 miles away); Fray Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, O.F.M. (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Fernando.
Additional keywords. Native American Indian
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 26, 2017, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 579 times since then and 66 times this year. Last updated on April 20, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 26, 2017, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California.   3. submitted on September 30, 2017. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 25, 2021