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.
At some sites, it appeared that a California plaque had never been erected. At other sites, there was a base, but the plaque itself was missing. Some sites without California plaques had other historic markers, but they did not note that the site is a California Historical Landmark.
Frémont's Camp, Modoc County
Frog Woman Rock, Mendocino County
Glencoe (Mosquito Gulch) , Calaveras County
Giant Powder Company Site, San Francisco
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco and Marin Counties
Montezuma, Tuolumne County
Montgomery Hill, San Jose
Napa Valley Railroad Depot, Calistoga
Negro Hill, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
Noble Pass Route, Lassen Volcanic National Park
Old Custom House, Monterey
Plymouth Trading Post, Plymouth
Pony Express Remount Station, Woodfords
Portolá Camp at Crystal Springs, San mateo County
Portolá Camp at Gazos Creek, Bean Hollow State Beach
Portolá Camp at Martini Creek, Montara
Portolá Camp at Pilarcitos Creek, Half Moon Bay
Portolá Camp at Pulgas Water Temple, San Mateo County
Portolá Camp at Purisima Creek, Half Moon Bay
Portolá Camp at San Gregorio State Beach, San Gregorio
Portolá Camp at Tunitas Beach, San Mateo County