by Anne Petersen
The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation has completed a Cooperating Agreement with the National Park Service’s Jaun Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail to help interpret the experience of the expedition as it traveled through California’s Central Coast. This expedition of over 240 people, mostly in family groups, walked from Mexico’s Sonoran desert up the California coast to found San Francisco in 1775/76 under the leadership of Juan Bautista de Anza. The expedition succeeded in founding the Presidio of San Francisco, and the legacy and descendants of those founding family’s can still be found throughout the state today. The expedition spent five days traveling through the Central Coast, and recorded descriptions of what they saw provide invaluable insight into the landscape, as well as the Chumash who called the area home.
In 2011 we held a three-part lecture series about the expedition and created a traveling trunk for schools as part of our cooperating agreement with NPS. You can see an earlier post by Torie Quiñonez, who facilitated these projects, here. We recently received the the third and final of these projects, a beautiful brochure and trail guide to the Anza Expedition and the Central Coast. The brochure is chock full of beautifully colored images, historical context and a detailed map of the expedition route and related sites that you can visit today. Come by the Presidio Visitor Center to pick up a hard copy, or you can download a high resolution pdf of the brochure from the NPS Anza Trail website here. Take a look at the other brochures available, and peruse the Anza Trail website. There is a treasure trove of information available.
We are also thrilled that El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park has been invited to participate in the National Park Service’s Passport Program because of its location along the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. You can find out how to get a National Parks passport here. And if you already have one, come on by and add the Presidio to your collection! Click here to see where else you can grab a stamp along the Anza Trail, and follow in the footsteps of the expedition!
Anne Petersen is the Associate Director for Historic Resources at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.