California Stories

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

In 1853 an Indian woman speaking a language unknown to the mainlanders was found on San Nicholas Island by Captain George Nidever (1802-1883).


The grizzly bear figured prominently in the early history of California, but the original flag looked a little different.


The story of Samuel Brannon and the Mormon pioneers who arrived in California on the Brooklyn.


A young U.S. Navy officer was the man who brought the first camels to California in from Tunis in 1857, introducing another colorful character into the annals of the west.


The story of James Lick and Domenico Ghirardelli


A number of Civil War Personalities had California connections, though not all were celebrated as Californians.


In 1847 196,224 Irish immigrants arrived in America and while most of the stayed on the east coast, hundreds made their way to California.


The old Spanish missions were ideal settings for early movies but their role faded in the last half of the 20th century.


Did the missionaries hide a fortune in San Fernando Rey?


The remarkable stories of Maria Lopes Carillo, Joana Briones and Nancy Kelsey.


The story of Joseph Chapman, the pirate who stayed and helped build Alta California's mills.


The remarkable story of Fr. Antonio Peyri of San Luis Rey


How the character from Helen Hunt Jackson's book, Romona, took on a life of her own.


The story of a mountain man and his bear companion


A story of the restoration and replacement of the San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo roof


How William Randolph Hearst's infatuation with a Ziegfield Follies dancer led him to California and ultimately to help with the restoration of the California missions.