In the 1830s, during the Mexican period, the family of María López de Carrillo built an adobe house on their Rancho Cabeza de Santa Rosa land grant, just east of what later became downtown Santa Rosa.
Allegedly, however, by the 1820s, before the Carrillos built their adobe in the 1830s, Spanish and Mexican settlers from nearby Sonoma and other settlements to the south raised livestock in the area and slaughtered animals at the fork of the Santa Rosa Creek and Matanzas Creek, near the intersection of modern-day Santa Rosa Avenue and Sonoma Avenue.
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The mission, dating back to 1777, was the first outpost of Spanish civilization in the Santa Clara Valley.
European explorers first saw the Santa Clara Valley in 1769, when Gaspar de Portols land expedition to Monterey Bay continued up the coast to San Francisco, then rounded the southern tip of San Francisco Bay.
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Those who entered without permission were subject to harsh penalties.Eighth Mission Date Founded: January 12, 1777 Founder: Fray Toms de la Pea (Junipero Serra) Named for: Saint Claire of Assisi Location: Santa Clara University 500 El Camino Real Santa Clara, CA 95053 Contact Information: Telephone: 408-554-4023 The first sight that greets visitors to Santa Clara University is the faade of the restored church of Mission Santa Clara de Ass.Santa Clara University, the oldest college in California, is also the only college in the state to be the successor of a Spanish mission.The history of both institutions is intimately bound up with the history of the state.The University, founded in 1851, was born amid the tumultuous growth of the Gold Rush era.One stone with iron strap rail still intact is displayed inside the Museum.Visitors are welcome to visit the new railroad museum in our rebuilt depot.The tribe gathered at ceremonial times on Santa Rosa Creek near present-day Spring Lake Regional Park.Upon the arrival of Europeans, the Pomos were decimated by smallpox brought from Europe, and by the eradication efforts of Anglo settlers. The first known permanent European settlement of Santa Rosa was the homestead of the Carrillo family, in-laws to Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, who settled the Sonoma pueblo and Petaluma area.Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Redwood Empire, Wine Country and the North Bay; the fifth most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont; and the 28th most populous city in California.Before the arrival of Europeans, the wide valley containing Santa Rosa was home to a strong and populous tribe of Pomo natives known as the Bitakomtara.