... and so we continue
County ~ The Pioneer Years” by Charles E. Clough & William B.
Secrest, Jr, page 43:
“It is unfortunate
that the majority of details of the Californianos or Hispanics is
about the outlaw element, as they were outnumbered many times over by
constructive settlers who made a positive contribution to the
development of the county. It is hoped that additional informaiton
about their work is to be found somewhere in written form and that it
will eventually be made available to future generations.”
And this is
exactly what I am doing … and have been doing for years!!
yet again our families moved. Yet again the move was to better their
… they would now be property owners, not all of them, but
was work in and around Firebaugh for every person willing to work.
Sheep-shearing was seasonal, but there were other jobs to keep them
busy, keep them paid, and keep food on the tables until the shearing
season began again.
… and for the women there was always the
keeping house, and cooking.
Cooks at the sheep-shearing camps were
often under appreciated, but always needed.
… and life ended.
As in all communities, when a
life ended the community mourned.
In Firebaugh, where most of the
families were related, the loss was often felt by so many more than
just the immediate family.
… the funerals helped with healing
the cemetery created a gathering place.
For the folks of Firebaugh
their gathering place was the old Las Juntas Cemetery.
Las Juntas Cemetery had been the final resting place for so many
years, for so many of the earliest settlers of the area, for so many
of the members of the gangs
… and for so many of the residents
of the Pueblo de Las Juntas during its final years.
after moving from Las Juntas to Firebaugh the residents continued to
bury their loved ones in the Las Juntas Cemetery. The Pueblo de Las
Juntas may have been destroyed, but the cemetery was still there, still a
place to heal
… until Firebaugh had its own cemetery in 1920.
who died after Amadeo Landucci and Pompelio Giomi established the
cemetery location were buried in the Firebaugh Cemetery. For
twenty-something years families had buried their loved ones in
Firebaugh, yet still mourned for those in the Las Juntas cemetery. In
the mid 1940s this was resolved by relocating the remains of those buried in the Las
Juntas cemetery to the Firebaugh Cemetery.
For unknown reasons
one grave, one headstone was left to mark the location of the Las
site of the old Las Juntas Cemetery is on private property. The owner
states that there are no indications of any other graves, only the
one, carefully fenced.
Here are some of
the families who lived in Las Juntas during the last years 1874 - 1877:
Moreno * and his wife
Barbara Francisca Solorsano, *
Indian from San Juan, and at least 5 children: Estefana, 20 *,
Jesus, 6 *,
Their last two sons, Agusto *
and Alberto * were born in
Las Juntas.Fernando and Barbara married in 1876 while living in Las Juntas before Fernando died in 1879.
Borboa * who arrived in Las
Juntas in about 1870, according to his marriage record to Quirina
Buelna, * daughter of Juana
Bojorques in 1875.
Both residents of Las Juntas at that time.
and Juana Jimenes
Jorge Garcia and
Juan Arias *
and Josie Serna *
and Teodora Munos/Martinez
Juan and Juliana
and Matilde Ynigo *
Rodriguez and Eduvigis Olivas, and their newborn son Jose
Zaragoza *and Josefa
Madrid,* and newborn son
Moraga* and Virginia
Solaca *, and newborn
daughter Martina *
Valencia and Jesus Bojorques, and newborn son Valencio
Onorario and Feliciana Cervantes, and newborn daughter Genoveva
Aguirre and Audelia Melendez
Maria Ochoa * and
daughters Margarita, 12 *
and Filomena, 9. * His wife
died in childbirth in Pajaro in October 1870. He moved with the other
families to Las Juntas.
Manuel Enriques *
and Juana Bojorques * along
with her Castro sons: Jose
& Hipolito *;
Juana's son Francisco
and the Enriques children: Florencia
*, Jesus *,
Mary *, and
Raymundo will marry Margarita Ochoa, as
residents of Las Juntas.
will marry Manuel Castro Estrada,
in 1876 as residents of Las Juntas.
will marry Francisco Dobales, the
Justice of the Peace in Firebaugh in 1875.
above names, about 54 who lived in Las Juntas and then moved to
Firebaugh for a better life, make up quite a percentage of those said
to have been in Las Juntas at its ending. Almost all these folks are
in some way related to Juana Bojorques
... her families
they lived in Las Juntas and then in Firebaugh)
Noted author Frank
F. Latta said that for 40 yrs, between 1920 – 1960, he carried a 3
ring binder with all his notes of interviews with so many of the
people of the Firebaugh and Las Juntas areas.
Some of his
informants were Lizzie (Chevoya) Corona, Ramon & Cayetano
Chevoya, Jesus, Frank, and Albert Lopez, along with Hipolito Castro.
married Adolpho Corona. One of their daughters was Trinidad who
married my grandmother's brother Nemecio “Mechie” Gonzales of
Mechie and Trinidad had one daughter – Genevieve.
celebrated her 91st birthday this week!
She and her husband Tony Barragan still
live in Firebaugh.
Cayetano Chaboya were Lizzie's brothers.
Jesus, Frank, and
Albert Lopez were long time residents of Firebaugh.
the Constable. Frank was the contractor who relocated the graves.
Castro, a mule team
driver for years, respected as being one of the best drivers, able to
control the team over very steep and winding roads, “jumping” the
reins as they went.
Tio Polito was my great grand uncle, the last
child born to Juana Bojorques and her first husband Antonio Maria
my great grandmother Florencia
Enriques married Manuel Castro Estrada in
Sep 1876 they were both residents of Las Juntas.
The witnesses for
their marriage were Ambrosio
Urias and his wife Matilda Ynigo
... the same Matilda who was the two month old baby clutched in her mother's arms
... riding from
Mexico to Las Juntas on horseback in 1857.
Not long after her husband Ambrosio Urias died Matilda
married Jose Rivera, a cook for Joaquin Murrieta, and later a tamale maker!
... Ambrosio was
buried in the Las Juntas Cemetery. His mother in law Teodora Arredondo performed the ceremony as she had done for nearly all others buried there.
Jose Rivera and his
wife Dna Mathia
lived their final years quietly in the growning town of nearby Madera, California at 208 South O Street
... just two
houses from where my mother was born and lived until she
married in 1948.
Jose and Dna Mathia had no children but adored the little girl down
... giving her treats and gifts, and tons of love.
fun that one of Mom's neighbors was so connected to both Las Juntas AND
to Joaquin Murrieta!
... and how awesome for me to sit across the table from my own mother, listening to her stories of growing up two houses down from Doña Mathia
... someone who lived in, actually grew up in, the Pueblos de Las Juntas!