Victims of 1848 massacre to be honored with plaque at Mission San Miguel

Mission San Miguel was the site of a gruesome mass murder in the 19th century.
Mission San Miguel was the site of a gruesome mass murder in the 19th century.

On Saturday at 11 a.m. at Father Reginald Park next to Mission San Miguel, the Native Sons of the Golden West will honor the memory of 11 people massacred at the Mission in 1848.

In 1834 the missions and their lands were secularized. In 1846, Mission San Miguel was sold to a British sailor, William Reed and his family; at the same time his partner, Petronillo Rios, purchased the Caledonia Adobe.

In fall 1848, Mr. Reed went up to the gold fields in Northern California and returned saying he brought back some gold. That December, brigands who had heard his story killed him, his pregnant wife and his son along with their servants. They are all buried near the sacristy entrance in the Mission cemetery.

The killers were caught and justice was meted out. A memorial plaque will be dedicated by the grand president of NSGW Erik Christeson and his officers.

Car and bike show

On Dec. 2 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Team Auto Collision presents the sixth annual Show and Shine Car and Bike Show for Toys for Tots downtown.

All kinds of wheels are welcome. Entry fee is an unwrapped toy. There will be vendors, live music and a barbecue.

Sponsors are Borjon Auto Center, Reed’s Heating, Gar’s Transmissions, Advance Professional, Utility Supply Inc., and Sky River RV. The San Miguel Chamber of Commerce will host. For information, call 805-238-6304.

Booted from the train

On Tuesday afternoon the northbound Amtrak train stopped on the Estrella Crossing across from the Mission to eject some disorderly passengers who were then taken into custody.


Nov. 29: San Miguel Advisory Committee at 7 p.m. at the Community Building in the park

Wishing you all a blessed Thanksgiving.

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Go to to (Resource Connection), for current information on San Miguel events, businesses, organizations, churches and opportunities to volunteer. Topical entry forms and applications are available to fill out online. A history section features stories and pictures from early-day families, the town and area

Lynne Schmitz’s column is special to The Tribune. She is a longtime resident of San Miguel, and her column appears here weekly. Reach her at (with “San Miguel News” in the suject line) or at 805-467-3565.