NWS National Register Notes
Some things which could be mentioned in applying for National Register of Historic Places status are:
- The site is representative of Indian history because of the presence of the archeological site, perhaps the Luiseno town of Pamamelli, described in San Luis Rey Mission records of the 1820's.
- The site is representative of Spain's colonial era when she was trying to protect California, her northern frontier, from the English and the Russians. The Spanish technique (which had worked so well in central Mexico) was to persuade Indian people to become townspeople and citizens of Spain. This was to happen in ten years, at which time, Spanish law dictated that the Mission complex built by the Indians was to be returned to them. The Mission structures, the workshops, school rooms and infirmary were to become the civic buildings of their new town, and the church itself was to be staffed by a parish priest appointed by the Bishop of the Diocese. The mission lands and herds were to be divided among the Indian people who chose to live there, and if there was land remining, NonIndians could settle there also.
- Begun in 1798, the San Luis Rey Mission was due to become an Indian town but the Mexican revolution intervened. Soldiers and priests received no salary for 20 years, and were supported by the people of the Luiseno towns which supported San Luis Rey.. By the time independence was achieved (1821), the Spanish - now Mexican - soldiers, who had served so long without pay, were looking at the San Luis Rey Mission as a source of recompence.
- Under the laws of the new Mexican Republic, families of the earliest Spanish soldiers could apply for pieces of Mission lands, and some of the Pico descendents, Jose Antonio, Pio and Andres received the Santa Margarita, a branch of San Luis Rey Mission. Their grant included part of the present town of Fallbrook. The Mexican government adopted the Spanish law for town development, and many from Pamamelli chose land at Las Flores, a branch of San Luis Rey Mission on Las Flores Creek. These buildings had been been constructed and developed by Indian people from the nearby town. By 1840, the new Luiseno town of Las Flores had a population of more than 1000, and was three times larger than the Mexican town of San Diego. The town flourished, and might have continued had California remained part of the Republic of Mexico, but the future for Indian people changed with the U.S. invasion. The archeological site on NWS, in addition to providing an opportunity to interpret Luiseno lifeways, especially trade relations with Temecula and the interior, could tell the story of town development under Mexico.
- The land of the Naval Weapons Station also typifies U.S. soldier relationships. Some U.S. Army units serving in the Mexican War had been raised for the purpose of producing settlers in California after the war was over. Lt. Henry Magee worked for the army as a civilian in San Diego after his discharge. He married Victoria De Pedrorena, whose father had served with Stockton and the Americans after they occupied San Diego. She had grown up in her grandparents Estudillo home in Old Town, and taught school there after she was married. Later, Victoria and Henry Magee homesteaded in Fallbrook next to the Santa Margarita Ranch boundary. They raised a family of eight children in Fallbrook and Victoria taught the Fall Brook school, attended by her own children and those of her sister-in-law, Mrs. Reche, and children of other homesteaders.
- As more settlers arrived, the Magee family sold their homestead and moved to a ranch in Pala. The Mexican/American Magee children came of age and were active in Fallbrook and on the Santa Margarita Ranch lands. Victor married a Fallbrook girl and lived where the Station officers housing is now. Antonia's husband leased lands of the Santa Margarita and farmed in partnership with Victor. Antonia started the Fallbrook Women's Club, and members of the Club often hiked out to her home. Victor's wife was president of the Club, and other Magees were members.
- Jane Magee and Hugh Magee leased and farmed Santa Margarita land near the coast, lived in the Las Flores ranchhouse, and helped manage the other lands for the owners. (After the Ranch became Camp Pendleton, they were permitted to continue living at Las Flores.) Another Magee daughter graduated from Fallbrook High School at the turn of the century, and a grandson attended just before 1920. A cousin, Jennie, (daughter of John Magee and an Indian lady of Temecula), who had been raised with the Henry Magee children, lived at the Santa Margarita ranchhouse and took care of the O'Neils in their later years. All these offspring of a Mexican War U.S. soldier, with their family visits and participation in Fallbrook events knit the two areas together.
- The coming of the Navy was another kind of relationship with military people, in a tradition begun by the Pico family (begun with the Spanish soldier, Pio Pico's father, in the 1780's and ending with Andres Pico, whose group of Mexican soldiers won the first battle against the invading Americans in the War with Mexico).but a new relationship which had was not new.
Copyright © 1998 by Fallbrook Historical Society
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to the Fallbrook Historical Society at this source:
Comments and feedback: Elizabeth Yamaguchi
Last update: 12 August 1998.