Mission/Rancho Era – 1700s

Milpitas was along the route taken by the De Anza Expedition, and between Mission San Jose and Mission Santa Clara. There is a sign posted near the intersection of Calaveras and Milpitas Blvd., near City Hall, showing where the expedition passed through.

A demonstration of the 20-foot-long wrap the women on the De Anza Expedition wore to carry their babies and supplies.

Adobe Peralta House
The Peralta Adobe is San José’s oldest address. Built in 1797, the Peralta Adobe is the last remaining structure from El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe.

California Missions Interactive Internet Field Trip
In May of 1995, some bicyclists road along the El Camino (King’s Highway) between 12 of the California Missions. They kept up an internet dialog with 4th grade students in Palo Alto.

California Missions Resource Center
Your comprehensive guide to discovering the history behind the California missions and the people who founded and shaped the character of California.

El Camino de San Jose
El Camino nominally links the missions, but Mission San José in Fremont is nowhere near today’s El Camino Real. So what route did early Californians take from Mission Santa Clara to Mission San José? It goes along Main Street and Milpitas Boulevard in Milpitas!

4th Grade California Mission Projects: A Thought Experiment for Parents, Educators, and Students
The Mission Unit is a powerfully authoritative indoctrination in Mission Mythology against which fourth graders have little if any resistance, and intense pressure is put upon students (and their parents) to create a “Mission Project” that glorifies the era and glosses over both Spanish and Mexican exploitation of Indians, as well as American enslavement of those same Indians during American rule.

A History of Mexican Americans in California
Hispanic settlement of what is now California began in 1769 when the Presidio and Catholic mission of San Diego were established.

Juan Bautista De Anza
National Historic Trail. In 1775-76 he led a contingent of 30 soldiers and their families to found a presidio and mission on the San Francisco Bay. Here is a map showing where he came to Milpitas. Translation of diaries of De Anza, Font and Eixarch.

Milpitas Images of America Milpitas
Images of America
by Robert Burrill
$21.95 or $25 with author signature.
Call 408-263-5468 to order.
Robert L. Burrill, Milpitas filmmaker and photography teacher for more than 35 years, has combed the archives of the Milpitas Historical Society, private local collections, and his own works to find more than 200 vintage photographs chronicling the heritage, enterprise, and wit of Milpitas from the 1700s to the present day.

The Missions
The Franciscans came to California not merely to convert the tribes to Christianity but to train them for life in a European colonial society. Conversion was seldom an entirely voluntary process.

Model Behavior
The agony of the tradition of 4th grade Mission model building. The author wonders: What does this really teach? By David Templeton

Peralta Adobe
A 200-year old adobe home in the heart of downtown San Jose. This page tells you about its history.

Photo Gallery of California Missions & Other Hispanic Sites
A good site to begin your research into historic Spanish California. Contact information for dozens of historic places of this era.

Spanish Missions of California
The Spaniards, who had already colonized parts of Mexico to the south, wanted to protect those colonies and extend their influence northward. The Roman Catholic church wanted to convert Native Americans to Christianity. The mission system supported both goals.

Web de Anza
Primary source documents and multimedia resources covering Juan Bautista de Anza’s two overland expeditions from the Sonoran desert to northern California, leading to the colonization of San Francisco in 1776.

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