Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Las Juntas Cemetery and The Pueblo de Las Juntas - Part Three

... and so we continue

From “Fresno 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!!

So yet again our families moved. Yet again the move was to better their lives
… they would now be property owners, not all of them, but many.

There 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.

Life continued
… 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.

The 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.

Even 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.

Those 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 Juntas Cemetery.

The 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:

Fernando Moreno * and his wife Barbara Francisca Solorsano, *
Indian from San Juan, and at least 5 children: Estefana, 20 *, Jesus, 6 *, Pancho, 16
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.

Escolastico 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.

Jose Montenegro and Juana Jimenes

Jorge Garcia and Juliana Cervantes
Juan Arias * and Josie Serna *
Jose Arredondo and Teodora Munos/Martinez
Juan and Juliana Higuera
Ambrosio Urias and Matilde Ynigo *
Louis Rodriguez and Eduvigis Olivas, and their newborn son Jose Bibiano Bisente
Domingo Zaragoza *and Josefa Madrid,* and newborn son Francisco *
Jose Moraga* and Virginia Solaca *, and newborn daughter Martina *
Juan Valencia and Jesus Bojorques, and newborn son Valencio
Jorge Onorario and Feliciana Cervantes, and newborn daughter Genoveva
Pedro Aguirre and Audelia Melendez

Jose 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 Raymundo * & Hipolito *; Juana's son Francisco Palomares *, and the Enriques children: Florencia *, Juliana *, Jesus *, Bernardino *, Manuel *, Mary *, and Clemencia *

Jose Raymundo will marry Margarita Ochoa, as residents of Las Juntas.
Florencia Enriques * will marry Manuel Castro Estrada, * in 1876 as residents of Las Juntas.
Juliana Enriques * will marry Francisco Dobales, the Justice of the Peace in Firebaugh in 1875.

The 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
... MY family!
* indicates 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.
Lizzie Chaboya married Adolpho Corona. One of their daughters was Trinidad who married my grandmother's brother Nemecio “Mechie” Gonzales of Firebaugh.
Mechie and Trinidad had one daughter – Genevieve.
Genevieve celebrated her 91st birthday this week!
She and her husband Tony Barragan still live in Firebaugh.

Ramon and Cayetano Chaboya were Lizzie's brothers.

Jesus, Frank, and Albert Lopez were long time residents of Firebaugh.
Albert was the Constable. Frank was the contractor who relocated the graves.

Hipolito 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 Castro.

When 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.

Dn 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.

Dn Jose and Dna Mathia had no children but adored the little girl down the street
 giving her treats and gifts, and tons of love.
How 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!


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