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Exhibit item: Diseno del Rancho San Miguelito: Monterey County, California, manuscript map, 1841?

Exhibit item:
Diseño del Rancho San Miguelito: Monterey County, California
Manuscript map, 1841?

Diseños, or land case maps, document property claims of the Alta California period. This map of a Monterey County land grant shows rivers, roads, buildings and a resident grizzly.

"Ranch and Mission Days in Alta California," Century Magazine, 1890

"Every Mission and ranch in old times had its calaveras, its 'place of skulls,' its slaughter-corral, where cattle and sheep were killed by the Indian butchers. Every Saturday morning the fattest animals were chosen and driven there, and by night the hides were all stretched on the hillside to dry ...

The grizzly bears, which were very abundant in the country, - for no one ever poisoned them, as the American stock raisers did after 1849, - used to come by night to the ravines near the slaughter-corral where the refuse was thrown by the butchers.

The young Spanish gentlemen often rode out on moonlight nights to lasso these bears, and then they would drag them through the village street, and past the houses of their friends.

Two men with their strong rawhide reatas could hold any bear, and when they were tired of this sport they could kill him. But sometimes the bears would walk through the village on their way to or from the corral of the butchers, and so scatter the people.

Several times a serenade party, singing and playing by moonlight, was suddenly broken up by two or three grizzlies trotting down the hill into the street, and the gay caballeros with their guitars would spring over the adobe walls and run for their horses, which always stood saddled, with a reata coiled, ready for use, at the saddle bow."

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