History of the San Diego Area

Many people when looking at new homes in San Diego County want to know more about the history of the area; things like when it was populated and by whom and the history of the architecture and so forth. On the LindaSellsMoore.com blog today we will be taking a look at the history of San Diego thanks in great part to the San Diego History Center. To obtain more information than is provided here you can visit the San Diego History Center website at www.sandiegohistory.org.

It is believed by anthropologists that hunting peoples of northeast Asia followed prey such as caribou and bison across the Bering Strait and settled the coastal area of San Diego around 20,000 to 18,000 BCE and settled in the desert area around 12,000 or 10,000 BCE. Clearly San Diego has a very long history. The only inhabitants of the area at that time are referred to as the San Dieguito people and once they developed a culture in the area (sometime around 7,500 BCE) they are referred to as the San Dieguito Paleo-Indian people because the period where humans first began to settle in the Americas is known as the Paleo-Indian period. Depending on who you talk to or whose work you investigate the actual dates vary widely, but what is believed by archaeologists is that the San Dieguito people exploited a variety of marshland and lakeside resources while those to the north of them utilized fish, marine mammals and shellfish. The native people flourished and cross-pollinated with other tribes and though there was the normal amount of unrest in any civilization the San Diegutio people for the most part avoided outsiders until Christopher Columbus “discovered” the New World in 1492.

Shortly after 1492 many visitors from Europe, especially Spain, begin to arrive in and around the San Diego area. In 1535 Hernando Cortes lands at La Paz in Baja California and sets up a temporary colony. Hernando Cortes was a Spanish conquistador (soldier/explorer) that traveled to many locations in the New World starting with what would now be Mexico and discovering and naming California. For more information on Hernando Cortes you can visit the BBC’s page for him at http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/cortes_hernan.shtml.

It was in November of 1602 that Sebastian Vizcaino arrived in his ship “San Diego” (named after the Spanish Catholic saint San Diego de Alcala) after a voyage of six months and five days that began on March 7th of 1602 in Mexico City. Vizcaino names the land San Diego after his flagship, the Spanish Catholic saint and the feast of San Diego de Alcala, which was on November 12th, two days after he and his crew landed. It is also interesting to note that the first Christian religious service in California (on record at least) was held on November 12th for the feast of San Diego.

The ensuing years are fraught with struggles over who will maintain control over the area and there are fights between the Spanish and Native Americans as well as alliances that are formed. It isn’t until 1777 that the first major group of non-soldier settlers arrives in San Diego and it isn’t until some time between 1820 and 1830 that those settlers bring the total population of residents up to 600. In 1821 Mexico wins independence from Spain and San Diego becomes part of Mexico for the next 25 years, as does most of the rest of California.

On May 13, 1846 the United States declares war on Mexico and with an attack from the east the United States manages to make it to San Diego by December of that year. If you are interested in the Mexican-American War there is an excellent site dedicated to it from PBS and you can check it out at http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/index_flash.html. On February 2, 1848 the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed which officially ends the war between the United States and Mexico. As a result in March of 1850 San Diego becomes incorporated and six months later California is granted statehood by the United States.

San Diego has a rich history following all of these events but we will be continuing our lesson on the history of San Diego after California becomes a state in another blog post, as there is just too much to cover in one post. In between we will include some other interesting and fun information and have some activity ideas for the holidays that are quickly approaching. Now that you know some of the history of San Diego this may convince you or persuade you to look for real estate in the area and there is no better real estate agency than LindaSellsMoore.com. Check our listings of homes in the San Diego County area for a home-for-sale that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations. Keep checking back at LindaSellsMoore.com.

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