[Homestead] Pala valley indians was:Algic Languages
don.bowen at earthlink.net
Wed Sep 24 20:49:02 EDT 2008
The Pauma Valley (I screwed up the name, Pala is the town) is a rich
agricultural valley north Country San Diego. It is home to many citrus and
Avocado groves. I lived for many years on the other side of the ridge south
of the valley in Valley Center and winter north of the valley in Temecula.
My favorite taco shop is Jilliberto's, a place I stop on every trip from
Temecula to where my tools are stored in Valley Center.
The natives of Southern California were ill treated with corrupt Indian
agents such as Cave Johnson Couts and his son. Cave Couts Sr. shot an
Indian in daylight in San Diego but was not prosecuted because the only
witnesses were other Indians and they were by law not allowed to testify
against whites. Cave was a young Second lieutenant in Kearney's Army of the
west in 1846. His wealth came from a 2900 acre rancho in North County near
Oceanside called Rancho Guame. He married Juan Bandani's youngest daughter
and used that link to steal the rancho from a local Indian. Further wealth
came from his brother-in-law Abel Sterns, an early California merchant. The
rancho is now a county park.
Any way, many promises were made for Indian settlement lands but the Mission
Indians were almost completely destroyed by the Catholic church so were
mostly the cheap labor easily exploited by the ranchers. Around the end of
the 1800s the plight of the Indians became knows though the efforts of many
people and the publication of books like "Ramona" which by the way was
written in the Cave Adobe on Rancho Guame.
Reservation land was set aside or purchased. And none of it was the best
land. For example the land in San Pasqual Valley that now includes the San
Diego Wild Animal Park had a native tribe but it was good farm land. Cave
Couts Jr was the Indian agent tasked with the survey. He did but made a
simple mistake in the township number. The affect was to push the tribe
into very rocky land to the north near Valley Center.
People collected subscriptions and government money to buy land in the Pauma
Valley and called it the Mission Indian Reserve. This was supposed to be
land set aside for the Mission Indians. They were each given plots and
ownership of the land. Almost immediately there were problems. One was
again the Catholic church that stole several plots in the town of Pala for a
church. Other problems were merchants that sold liquor on credit then took
land for non payment. At one time it was illegal to sell liquor to the
Mission Indians but the merchants banded together and pushed a repeal
through the country government. Thusly prime agricultural lands passed into
the hands of the whites and left the Indians with the rocks.
Another problem was that Indians of all tribes were forced onto the Mission
reserve. Some had been mortal enemies for ever. An example was the afore
mentioned band from Warner Springs. Warner Springs sits in a well watered
valley in North San Diego County. Plenty of oaks and game made it a very
good place. The Cupa tribe there built a mostly permeate village and
defended it against all comers for maybe thousands of years. They kept the
Spanish and the church out.
Warner had a cattle ranch there and left the village alone, using the men
for ranch hands. He sold the ranch to a developer who wanted to open a
resort over the hot springs. He did not want the Indians around so in 1903
he forced them to leave at gunpoint. The three forced march to the Mission
reserve is a mini "Trail of Tears."
Now there are five reservations in the Valley. Pala, Pauma, Yuima, Rincon,
and La Jolla. Four have casinos. There are more Indian reservations in San
Diego County that any other country in the US. The back of my property in
Valley Center adjoined the Rincon Reservation.
This history lesson has gone on too long. I may have made mistakes in some
of the names but it is all from memory and my books are 1700 miles away in
storage in Valley Center.
Don Bowen KI6DIU
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