Name: De Anza Crossing of the Santa Ana River, 1775 and 1776
Site Number: #787
Date Visited: 08/22/2015
Other Designation: N/A
Plaque Status: Private Plaque
Location: 6161 Moraga Ave., Riverside, CA 92509
Coordinates: 33.975840, -117.441244
Description: On January 1, 1776, the first party of colonists to come overland to the Pacific Coast crossed the Santa Ana River south of this marker and camped between here and the river. Recruited in the presidios of Sonora, Mexico and led by Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza, who had established the trail a year earlier, this humble and heroic band of 242 men, women, and children continued north to found San Francisco, thus setting a boundary to Russian expansion from the north. Prior to the opening of de Anza’s trail, three precarious missions were maintained by uncertain ocean voyages, the flourishing missions and ranchos of Spanish California sprang from the droves of cattle, sheep, and horses brought over the trail.