Friday, November 8, 2013
San Juan Capistrano
The Secularization Act caused a decline of Mission San Juan Capistrano and the town. In 1841, the Mexican government declared San Juan to be a pueblo. Instead of a religious parish. In 1845, the Mission was sold to John Forster, who was an Englishman and had married the governor's sister. John Forster would eventually own about 250,000 acres across three counties.
San Juan Capistrano was on the road to the gold fields in Northern California, which led to rapid growth with homes, stores and a hotel being built. Homes of various types of architecture were built in the Los Rios area. Part of the Miguel Yorba adobe on Camino Capistrano became an overnight stage stop.
The California Central Railroad came to San Juan in 1887 brought access to markets and created a land boom.
The early part of the 1900's saw the community become a tight knit group of farm families and merchants. The Capistrano Valley developed into an agricultural center with an orange processing and produce packing plant near the railroad.
In 1910, Father John O'Sullivan came to the Mission and restored the Mission to a semblance of its earlier self. In 1939, a live NBC radio broadcast spread the fame and legend of the swallows' return to a nation wide audience. San Juan Capistrano also became a place for tourists to have a glimpse of early California life.
In the early 1970's, there was intense developmental pressures and a new General Plan was created which would preserve historic resources and open space, limited development density and provided for ridge line preservation. The measures were adopted in 1974 and helped assure the continuance of San Juan's Capistrano unique heritage.
The information for this post was taken from information provided by the City of San Juan Capistrano and the pictures were taken by me from two years ago. The last three pictures are of the Forster Mansion, located on Ortega Highway and the first three were taken of an old house on Camino Capistrano.