A so-called "History of TC" on the city's website contains several half truths that should be corrected. The document, which has circulated on many venues for years, has become an embarrassment, but it just won't go away. (See the link below.) I recently wrote to the City Clerk and Council including the following (slightly revised here).
Paragraph three: The route from Texas to Los Angeles does not lead through Cajon Pass but through San Gorgonio Pass via Palm Springs, Beaumont, Redlands, etc.
UPDATE 2019; An alternate route known as the Old Spanish Trail did lead migrants from Santa Fe NM via southern NV into California; history is always worth double-checking. The ambiguity here is a reference to to the OST as the Santa Fe Trail, which in fact leads from Missouri to New Mexico.
Paragraph four: By 1841, the year of the Temple and Workman arrivals, the government of California was Mexican, not Spanish, and had been so since the revolution of 1821. All church lands in Mexican territory were expropriated by the Mexican revolutionary government shortly after the revolution. The missions were closed and fell into disrepair until restoration efforts in the 20th Century. Most land titles in TC reference the 'ex-Mission San Gabriel Archangel.' As this expropriation was also true in Texas, Workman and Rowland may have come to California knowing of the opportunity to obtain former church lands.
The 'Spanish' references originate not in history but in past racism, which was refined for California in part by the publication of Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona in the 1880s, which romanticized local history in part out of her revulsion over mistreatment of minorities by the Anglo population of California. It was more acceptable among Anglos to be fair 'Spanish' than dark 'Mexican,' a type of bias that continues to the present day (choose your minority). Hollywood followed suit, despite which we can all be well assured that the wives of Workman, Rowland and Temple did not closely resemble Gene Tierney or Catherine Zeta-Jones.
I urge you to remove the old fantasy history, which has persisted for the decades since I was a child in TC, and replace it with writings more closely describing reality.
TC Resident, 1947-65
TCHS graduate, 1960
City employee and school playground recreation leader, 1961-63
Founder & Editor, TCHS Alumni News (http://tchsalumni.org)
Fan of TC, lifelong
Read the Sham History Here