Research Manuscript Series


Lorie García

Document Type


Publication Date



Santa Clara, Calif. : Santa Clara University, Department of Anthropology and Sociology


To know who we are, we need to know where we came from. It is memory that links us to the past and memory fades the further we progress from those generations which contributed to the formation of our identity. Today with changes in our society and our communities esculating at an increasingly rapid rate, each passing year finds the patterns of development in our communal past becoming harder to decipher and an increasing reliance on information which itself has become distorted by cultural differences and time. Before the formative years of the City of Santa Clara slip into the obscurity engendered by the passage of one hundred and fifty years of changes, we must refresh our memory and illuminate our heritage.

Although subjected to human habitation for several hundred years, the area in which the City of Santa Clara now is located, suffered minimal impact prior to the American takeover in the late 1840s. In a period of just two decades, 1846-1866, less than one generation, the ordeal and chaos of Americanization would see the region forever changed with the previous inhabitants disenfranchised and the landscape irrevocably transfigured.

The changes which occurred during those decades have been described by those who effected them, influenced by their own beliefs. This study, however, focuses on that period using historic maps and such primary documentation as property owners lists to chronicle Santa Clara's transformation. from a Spanish/Mexican Mission to an American Municipality.

Part of

Research Manuscript Series; 8


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