A little-known Spanish Colonial era trail paints a colorful history in our minds’ eye.

If You Go
What: Presentation on the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
When: Jan. 30, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Maricopa Public Library, 41600 W. Smith-Enke Road
How Much: Free

The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail is part of the National Trails System in the United States. From an expedition in 1775-76, it runs from Nogales to the San Francisco Bay, 1,200 miles on the U.S. side of the border.

Bureau of Land Management archeologist Cheryl Blanchard will present the story of the expedition at a special event Sept. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the Maricopa Public Library. She had been scheduled to make the presentation in September, but the event had to be cancelled because a crash had closed State Route 347.

Juan Bautista de Anza, captain of the Spanish royal presidio at Tubac, was the individual who developed the idea of transporting settlers overland from deep inside New Spain (now known as Mexico) to new lands in northern California. Those settlers would help secure the lands in Alta, California, from the territorial ambitions of England and Russia.

De Anza’s expedition started from the fort town of San Miguel de Horcasitas in Sonora after he gathered would-be settlers from coastal communities to the south.

The trail came past what is now Maricopa and set and path for other travelers and explorers through the area.

Learn how he chose the people that would make up the new settlement. Discover how he determined the best route through northern Sonora and what is now Arizona and California to the area around San Francisco. Learn about opportunities to experience the trail in Arizona.



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