California Historical Landmarks in San Mateo County

California Historical Landmark 94
Portolá Expedition Camp
Crystal Springs Dam on Skyline Boulevard
0.1 Mile South of Crystal Springs Road
4 Miles West of San Mateo

Crystal Springs Watershed Near Sawyer Camp Trailhead
Crystal Springs Watershed Near Sawyer Camp Trailhead
27 October 2004
(Click Photo to Zoom)

Portolá Expedition Camp

The Portolá Expedition of 1769 camped on November 5 at a 'laguna grande' which today is covered by the Upper Crystal Springs Lake.

Citation from California Office of Historic Preservation

We have been unable to locate a commemorative plaque for the Portolá Expedition Camp at Crystal Springs Reservoir.

Proceeding a short distance up the beach, [the Portolá Expedition] turned into the mountains on their right, and from the summit beheld the immense estero o brazo del mar. Then descending into the Cañada de San Andres, they turned to the south and southeast, and traveling two leagues camped in the cañada at the foot of a hill, very green with low brush, and having a cluster of oaks at its base. The next two days they traveled down the cañada, coasting the estero, which they could not see for the low hills (lomeria) on their left, noting the pleasant land with its groves of oak, redwood (palo colorado), and madroño. They saw the tracks of many deer and also of bears. The Indians met them with friendly offers of black tamales and atole, which were gladly received by the half-starved Spaniards. They begged the strangers to go to their rancherías, but the governor excused himself, saying that he must go forward, and dismissed them with presents of beads and trinkets. On the 6th, they reached the end of the cañada, which suddenly turned to the east, and saw that the estero was finished in a spacious valley. To the cañada they gave the name of San Francisco.

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:

October 23: Mouth of Gazos Creek
October 24: Mouth of San Gregorio Creek
October 26: Tunitas Indian Village

October 27: Mouth of Purisima Creek
October 28: Mouth of Pilarcitos Creek
October 30: Martini Creek

October 31: San Pedro Creek
November 4: Sweeney Ridge
November 4: San Andreas Lake

November 5: Cañada de Andreas
November 6: San Francisquito Creek
November 11: Cañada de Reymundo

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.

Adams and Company Building, Sacramento
Altaville, Calaveras County
Anza Expedition Camp, Burlingame
Bear Valley, Mariposa County
Bend City, Inyo County

Big Bar, Amador and Calaveras Counties
Birthplace of Freemasonry in California , San Francisco
Booth Home Site, Sacramento
Brannan Cottage, Calistoga
Brannan Store, Calistoga

Brown Home, Red Bluff
Bloody Point, Modoc County
Bonner Grade, Modoc County
Brannan House, Sacramento
Butte Store, Amador County

California Star Newspaper Site, San Francisco
Camino of Rancho San Antonio, Oakland
Casa de Cota, San Diego
Casa de Machado y Silvas, San Diego
Casa del Oro, Monterey

Casa Materna, Pajaro
Castro Home, El Cerrito
Chevra Kaddisha Cemetery, Sacramento
China Slough Site, Sacramento
City of Paris Department Store Site, San Francisco

Colton Hall, Monterey
Condemned Bar, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
Congregational Church, Mokelumne Hill
Corral Hollow, Tracy
Crabtree (Lotta) Home, Grass Valley

Crocker Gallery, Sacramento
Croll Building, Oakland
Donner Monument, Truckee
Douglas Flat, Calaveras County
Eagle Theatre, Sacramento

Ebbetts Pass, Alpine County
Ebner's Hotel, Sacramento
Evans and Bailey Fight, Modoc County
First Theater in California, Monterey
Fort Janesville, Lassen County

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

Grange Hall Site, El Dorado County
Guillem's Graveyard, Lava Beds National Monument
Gutiérrez Adobe, Monterey
House of Four Winds, Monterey
Hornitos, Mariposa County

Hudson Cabin Site, Calistoga
Indian Arrow Tree, Korbel
Irishtown, Amador County
Jackson Gate, Amador County
Jenny Lind, Calaveras County

Joaquín Moraga Adobe, Orinda
Junípero Serra's Cross, Ventura County
Kelsey House Site, Calistoga
Kirkwood's, Amador County
Lady Adams Building, Sacramento

Larkin House, Monterey
Lassen Grave, Lassen County
Laurel Hill Cemetery Site, San Francisco
Long Wharf Site, San Francisco
Maiden's Grave, El Dorado National Forest

Marklee's Cabin Site, Markleeville Marshall's Blacksmith Shop, Kelsey
Mayfield Canyon Battleground, Owens Valley
Methodist Episcopal Church, Placerville
Mills Bank Building, Sacramento

Milton, Calaveras County
Mission San Buenaventura, Ventura County
Mission San Buenaventura Reservoir, Ventura County
Mokelumne Hill IOOF Hall, Mokelumne Hill
Montez (Lola) Home, Grass Valley

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 Emigrant Trail, Modoc National Forest
Old Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara
Olema Lime Kilns, Marin County
Orleans Hotel Site, Sacramento
Overton Building, Sacramento

Parrott Block Site, San Francisco
Peralta Hacienda, Oakland
Pioneer Cemetery, Calaveras County
Pioneer Hall, Jackson
Plumas House, Quincy

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

Richmond Shipyards District, Richmond
Rincon Hill, San Francisco
Robert Louis Stevenson House, Monterey
Roop's Fort, Susanville
Royal Presidio Chapel, Monterey

Sacramento Bee Building, Sacramento
Sacramento Union Site, Sacramento
Sailing Launch Comet, Lathrop
Saint James Episcopal Church, Sonora
Salmon Falls, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

San Joaquin City Site, Tracy
Santa Margarita Asistencia, Santa Margarita
Smartsville, Yuba County
Stage Coach and Railroad, Sacramento
State Indian Museum, Sacramento

Stone Corral, Calaveras County
Studebaker's Shop, Placerville
Sutter Creek, Amador County
Swift's Stone Corral, Colusa County
Sycamore Tree, Ventura County

Telegraph Hill, San Francisco
Transcontinental Railroad, Lathrop
Union Oil Company Building, Ventura County
Vásquez House, Monterey
Willms Ranch, Knights Ferry

Valley Springs, Calaveras County
Western Hotel, Sacramento
Whiskeytown, Shasta County
Woodbridge, San Joaquin County
Wood's Ferry and Bridge Site, Woodbridge

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