5 Things You Should Know About California’s 19th Century Maritime History

California is my home state. (Ironic, that I study the history of Virginia for Civil War studies, eh?) California played a significant role in 19th Century American Maritime History. Part of California’s role had to do with its location.

West Coast of the United States, bordered by the Pacific Ocean.

When California was a Mexican province, its people started welcoming the American merchant ships. When California became a state in 1850, the gold rush brought thousands to the west coast. California’s location also made it a gateway state for immigrants and a last port before a ship set off across the Pacific Ocean.

Today we’ve rounded up five important aspects of California’s maritime history of the 19th Century. We’re keeping it simple for the sake of time, but feel free to add comments if you have more information to contribute. Continue reading

CA History ‘Round The Town: De Portola

Most adults spend a lot of time driving – errands, commuting, going to activities, or visiting. One of the things I’ve always liked to do in the car – even before I started driving – was to the read street names. Often times it can be like “driving through a history book.” When I’m waiting at a stop sign or light, I’ll quiz myself and see if I can remember something important related to the name of the street and cross street. It’s fun!

[Please do NOT be a distracted driver. Always travel safely. And never search on your phone for historical facts while driving!]

Anyway – I live in Southern California, so a lot of street names are in Spanish or are named after important people, places, or things in California history. Gazette665’s historical theme of month for April 2016 is California History ‘Round The Town and I’ve picked 5 street names from around the city and will share about the importance of that name in California History.

Today it’s De Portola Road… Continue reading