California Stories

The following are a collection of interesting and historical stories from early California and the California Missions.

Working a stream
The Padre's Gold

In 1842, some six years before the California Gold Rush, gold was discovered near Mission San Fernando. This is the story of that discovery and its impact on the mission.

Read This Story
View of Mission Santa Ines from ruins of mission mill
The Good Pirate

The story of Joseph Chapman, the “reluctant pirate” who was captured during an attack on Monterey in 1818. He stayed in California and helped build the extensive mill complex at Mission Santa Ines in 1820-1821.

Read This Story
Ramona Landmark
Ramona Lives

How Helen Hunt Jackson’s fictional character Ramona became famous and is still celebrated in the Ramona Pageant first held in 1923.

Read This Story