Wednesday, May 06, 2009

California Historical Landmark #92

Portolá Expedition Camp
California State Historical Landmark #92

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This landmark is located at the Pulgas Water Temple, on Canada Road, 6 miles north of Woodside, California. There are 33 other California State Historical Landmarks in San Mateo County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 37° 29.010 W 122° 18.990.

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On November 11, the Portolá Expedition of 1769 traveled two leagues, about 5.26 miles, to a point in the lower Cañada de Reymundo, and made their first camp here on their return trip.


The Pulgas Water Temple is a stone structure designed by architect William Merchant. It was erected by the San Francisco Water Department as a monument to the 1934 completion of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct and is located at the aqueduct's terminus.

"Pulgas" is the Spanish (and Portuguese) word for "fleas", which were encountered by early Spanish explorers of the area.



The Discovery of San Francisco Bay
The Portolá Expedition of 17691-1770
The Diary of Miguel Costanso

Saturday, 11 November - After hearing the report of the scouts, the commander decided to call together his officers in order to resolve jointly upon the course that might be suitable to adopt in the present circumstances, bearing in mind the service of God, and of the king, and their own honor.

The officers being assembled gave their votes in writing, and resolved to return in search of the port of Monterey, which they knew, from consideration of the signs they had noted along the coast, must lie behind them. The missionary fathers likewise attended the meeting, and their opinion was asked for courtesy's sake. They concurred in the decision, recognizing that the return in search of the port of Monterey, which they also knew must lie behind was necessary. The resolution was put into effect; in the afternoon the camp was moved two leagues from the stopping place at the estuary, retracing our steps on the return from the port of San Francisco.

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