A Short History

Pioneer VillageI’ve been visiting relatives in California, only my third trip to this state. In Bakersfield we visited the Pioneer Village, which consists of buildings of various ages in California history which have been moved to one location.

While we were touring the site, one of our relatives mentioned how much shorter California history is compared to our history in Virginia (We meant western civilization history, not Native American history, which, of course, spans plenty of time). I immediately thought that both histories pale in comparison to British history. My goodness, the UK has discovered museums that date back to 680 BC, with collections of artifacts that go back 1,000 more years.

I tried to find some Regency connection to California, without success. The Spanish first landed in the 1500s and Sir Frances Drake explored the California coast in 1579, but California was not settled by any Europeans until two hundred years later when Spanish missionaries came to convert the Native American “heathens.”

During the Regency, Russian settlers came down from Alaska to settle in California. In 1812 Russians established a settlement called Fort Ross. In 1821 Mexico gained independence from Spain and claimed California as part of their country, but the Californians often clashed with the new governors.

So I could not find any evidence of British exploring the area during “our” time period.  In the 1770s, Captain Cook mapped the California coast, but that was earlier. It wasn’t until the 1850s that Englishmen (and other Europeans) flocked to California during the Gold Rush.

Diane at Pioneer VillageUsually when I go someplace I can find some connection, even when I went to Alabama, but this time I feel like I might truly be in a foreign land….

Do you know of a connection between California and the Regency? In what strange place have you found a Regency connection?


About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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