California Historical Landmarks in San Mateo County
California Historical Landmark 26
Portolá Camp: October 24-26
Cabrillo Highway at San Gregorio State Beach
The plaque, after surviving half century of Pacific storms, went missing sometime
between 2004 and 2009, probably melted down to feed a drug habit.
(Click Photos to Zoom)
Captain Gáspar de Portolá and his party of Spanish explorers, journeying overland from San Diego in a fruitless search for Monterey Bay, camped here by San Gregorio Creek for a three day rest and treatment of their sick, October 24-26, 1769. Having missed Monterey, they later discovered San Francisco Bay instead.
Registered Landmark No. 26
Plaque placed by California Centennials Commission in cooperation with the County Board of Supervisors and the San Mateo County Historical Association.
October 16, 1949
The next jornada was a long one of four leagues, and [the Portolá Expedition] camp was on San Gregorio Creek. It began to rain and the command was prostrated by an epidemic of diarrhoea which spared no one. They now thought they saw their end, but the contrary appeared to be the case. The diarrhoea seemed to relieve the scurvy, and the swollen limbs of the sufferers began to be less painful. They named the camp Vane de los Soldados de los Cursos, and Crespi applied the name of Santo Domingo to it.
Unable to travel on the 25th and 26th, but resuming the march October 27th, they pressed forward.
From The March of Portolá and the Discovery of the Bay of San Francisco by Zoeth S. Eldredge
Portolá Expedition of 1769
Under orders from King Carlos III of Spain, Gaspar de Portolá i Rovira and Franciscan Father John Crespi marched north from San Diego on 14 July 1769 with sixty-three soldiers and one hundred mules.
Their destination was Monterey Bay, but they missed the fog-shrouded bay and instead became the first documented Europeans to see the San Francisco Bay.
Just seven years later, Spain founded Misión San Francisco de Asís on 29 June 1776.
The California Coastal Trail traces much of the route, and twelve California Landmarks in San Mateo County commemorate the expedition:
Some Missing California Plaques
When we visited the following sites, we were unable to locate a California commemorative plaque. In some cases, it appeared that the plaque had been stolen. In other cases, it appeared that a California plaque had never been ercted.