sometimes, when the weather is permanently shite, it stretches me so much to find a shot for my 365, hence lego figures, The Simpsons and the carpet. Today I completely got stuck, so reverted to my emergency plan – go to wikipaedia and look up todays date for inspiration.
On March 9, 1842, Francisco Lopez, the uncle of Antonio’s second wife Jacoba Feliz, took a rest under an oak tree in Placerita Canyon and had a dream that he was floating on a pool of gold. When he awoke, he pulled a few wild onions from the ground only to find flakes of gold clinging to the roots.
However, he was not just lucky. Lopez had studied mineralogy at the University of Mexico and it was likely he had been systematically looking for gold. Moreover, evidence suggests that gold had previously been found in the area as many as thirty years prior, but Lopez’s discovery was the first documented discovery of gold in the state. This sparked a gold rush on a much smaller scale than the more famous California Gold Rush several years later. About 2,000 people, mostly from the Mexican state of Sonora, came to Rancho San Francisco to mine the gold.
This discovery was mostly ignored by the American public. For one thing, California was not yet a U.S. state, so this was in essence a Mexican discovery. However, certain people who later played a large role in the other gold rush took note. John Sutter, who had sided with Gov. Manuel Micheltorena during his power struggle with former Gov. Alvarado, was imprisoned after the Battle of Providencia near Mission San Fernando after the insurrection had succeeded. After his release, he headed north through Placerita Canyon, and seeing the mining operation, determined to search for gold near his home, Sutter’s Fort.
During the Mexican–American War, Del Valle destroyed the mine to prevent the Americans from gaining access to it. The tree where Lopez took his nap is now known as the “Oak of the Golden Dream” and is registered as California Historic Landmark #168.
Good old Mr Lopez! Thanks for the inspiration.