The Journal of San Diego History
Winter 1977, Volume 23, Number 1
James E. Moss, Editor
Thomas L. Scharf, Assistant Editor

Original Articles

El Camino Real in Baja California: Loreto to San Diego
By Harry Crosby. Maps by Daira Paulson
Chicano History: an Oral History Approach
By Mario T. García
The True Origins of Spanish Colonial Officials and Missionaries
By Lucy Killea
The Blochman Saga in San Diego
By Trudie Casper
The Beginning of Secular Colonization in Baja California
By David Piñera Ramírez. Translated by Anita Alvarez de Williams

Book Reviews

Desert Documentary: The Spanish Years
By Kieran McCarty
“December’s Child” A Book of Chumash Oral Narratives
Edited, with an Analysis, by Thomas C. Blackburn.
Yesterday’s San Diego
By Neil Morgan and Tom Blair.
Desert Country
By Steve Crouch
Rules and Precepts of the Jesuit Missions of Northwestern New Spain
By Charles W. Polzer
William Mulholland: A Forgotten Forefather
By Robert William Matson
John Muir’s America
Text by T. H. Watkins, photographs by Dewitt Jones
John Muir’s Wild America
Text by Tom Melham, photographs by Farrell Grehan
Royal Officer in Baja California 1768-1770: Joaquin Velazquez de Leon
By Iris Wilson Engstrand
Book Notes

San Diego History

Letters to the Editor

On the Cover

cover image


Retracing and mapping the fragmentary remains of El Camino Real in Baja California over sometimes arduous terrain is an endeavor best accomplished on mule back. Also known as the Royal Road or the King’s Highway, El Camino Real was begun not long after the arrival of Jesuit missionaries to Baja California in 1697. The road served not only to link a chain of Lower California missions but later as a principal line for communication and commerce between developing towns and outposts of Spanish government.

The cover photograph was taken looking southeast towards the town of Santa Marta and is representative of the scenery where El Camino Real crosses the mountains in the mid peninsula region. The eastern foothills of the Sierra de San Francisco are visible in the background.

In this issue of the Journal, writer and photographer Harry Crosby presents the reasons for development of El Camino Real as well as methods employed in its construction. In addition, a series of twelve new maps, based on Crosby’s recent expeditions, plots the road from Loreto in the southern portion of Baja California to San Diego.

Photograph by Harry Crosby