A Small Mexican Outpost (1846-1850)

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Population in 1850: 650

The outbreak of the Mexican-American War and subsequent American acquisition of California brought numerous military forces through San Diego in the late 1840s. In addition, the discovery of gold in Northern California caused many “49ers” to make their way through San Diego as well. Although hundreds of miles away, the California Gold Rush spurred port activity and population growth in San Diego. The arrival of newcomers, both Easterners and Europeans, brought new architectural styles to San Diego. The appearance of the former Mexican community began to change. The newcomers also brought their ideas, their customs and a new form of government. By 1850 when California achieved statehood, San Diego’s past had all but faded into history, the vision of mission lands and sprawling cattle ranchos now little more than a memory. A new vision was in the making. Americans had come to stay.