California State Parks and National Park Service partners at our Community Outreach Office in El Pueblo de Los Angeles were fortunate to receive a visit by Hale Sargent, the Interpretive Specialist with National Park Service for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Hale shared new interpretive projects and materials associated with Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. Specifically, Hale presented a new binder with paintings and drawings by Laura Cunningham, illustrating some of the struggles the de Anza Expedition faced upon its 1,210 mile journey to reach Alta California and populate present day San Francisco.
Juan Bautista de Anza is most famous in California for leading this inland expedition through New Spain (California) in 1774 to the San Francisco Bay. De Anza left Sinaloa and Sonora to head north with permission from the Spanish King. The Anza Trail is significant to California State Parks in Los Angeles, in that its route closely follows the Los Angeles River near our downtown parks. De Anza’s goal was to reach San Francisco and thwart a possible invasion by Russia into California. De Anza established the northernmost Spanish outpost and layed the sites for Mission San Francisco de Asis and Presidio de San Francisco. Later, Jose Joaquin Moraga who was left to establish El Presidio de San Francisco as De Anza returned to Mexico in 1777. On his return voyage, de Anza located the sites for Mission Santa Clara de Asis and the town of San Jose de Guadalupe (Present day San Jose, CA)