Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Don Pedro Fages Expedition

Don Pedro Fages was the military governor of Alta California from 1770-74, and 1782-91.  He is primarily known for leading various land expeditions throughout the Bay Area and exploring much of what would become the East Bay.   He is credited with having explored the San Francisco and San Pablo Bays, the Carquinez Strait, Monterey Bay, and the San Joaquin River.  He was also known for his passion for hunting bear in the mountains of California, and his military ability, which shone particularly brightly when he was asked to put down various Native American revolts throughout his career.

The expedition in question, and the particular marker that is placed on the UC Berkeley campus, was intended to explore the East Bay and get a sighting of the Golden Gate from the shore.  The party took two sightings, neither of which are near the current marker.  The first sighting was taken at the sight of Mills College, roughly six miles away, and the second sighting was taken at the current site of the College of Arts and Crafts, two miles south.  The marker is hidden in a stand of trees at the edge of the Berkeley campus.  It's near the shore of Strawberry Creek and is fairly straightforward to find.

Getting There By Bike...
 This one is very easy to find, tough the area it's in is fairly heavily trafficked, both by cars and pedestrians.  The marker is located very close to the intersection of Center and Oxford streets, right at the western border of the Berkeley campus.  There is a large bronze sculpture of an orb near the sidewalk, and the historical marker is directly behind it, back in the eucalyptus grove.  The Golden Sheaf Bakery is fairly close by on Allston in downtown Berkeley.  The Berkeley Post Office and the Howard Automobile Company Showroom are also close by.

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