Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.
California News

Another way to mark the 4th of July at the South Pasadena mansion

Wedged between two cream-colored apartment complexes on a hill in South Pasadena lies a time warp.

The 180-year-old Adobe Flores is one of the last remaining structures from when Southern California was part of Mexico. A small grove of palm trees surrounds a cactus garden out front. On the side is a pole with the American flag above the Mexican flag. Bronze plaques on the porch say the whitewashed one-story building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is where Mexican General Jose Maria Flores stayed before agreeing to a ceasefire fire in 1847 during the Mexican-American War.

It’s a private residence now, so all I could do on my visit last Saturday morning was watch it from the driveway. Then Felix Gutierrez and Lori Fuller Rusch showed up.

He is a retired journalism professor from USC; she teaches art history at Cal State LA They are members of the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation. Together they took me back to a time when grasslands and cattle covered what is now asphalt and cars, and argued that the 4th of July should mean something more to Southern Californians. than just Independence Day.

“It was all open space until the [110] the freeway 50 years ago,” Gutierrez said, waving to the horizon as we stood in the shade of palm trees. Two cars were sitting in the driveway. I was wondering if we could come in.

“The last time residents allowed us in was 12 years ago,” he said with a shrug.

On this day 175 years ago, the United States and Mexico proclaimed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican-American War. The agreement established a new border, which meant that the northern half of Mexico became the modern American Southwest. It also guaranteed to the Mexicans who remained “the enjoyment of all the rights of citizens of” their new country.

We all know what happened.

American history has long treated the deal as an obstacle in the way of Manifest Destiny. Mexico, meanwhile, sees it as one of their most humiliating moments. For Mexican Americans, the treaty is a psychic wound that has never healed, proof that the US government can never be trusted – and gringos, by default.

Activists used his broken promises to organize resistance. In 1972, for example, the Brown Berets occupied Catalina Island for almost a month, arguing that since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo did not mention it, they claimed Romance Island for Mexico.

Retired USC professor Felix Gutierrez stands in front of Adobe Flores in South Pasadena. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

I have always associated grievances with the treaty. Gutierrez and Fuller Rusch wanted me to see it in a completely different context. He came armed with a folder full of clippings and a book on the history of the treaty; she carried an iPad.

“There’s been a lot of focus on the land that was lost” to the Mexican-American War, Gutierrez said. “But there should be equal importance for the people who stayed.”

“We [California] are a microcosm of what the world will be like,” Fuller Rusch added. “Living together is not always harmonious. So we have to learn from each other, respect and fight for each other.

“And this fight” for Mexican Americans, Gutierrez said, gesturing to the Adobe Flores, “started here.”

Gutierrez, whose ancestors came to Southern California in the 1840s, grew up with stories of Californian bravery in the face of American empire. The Mexican government had stripped them of heavy artillery, so all Californios could fight the “Yankees” (Gutierrez’s term, not mine) with spears, lassos, and pistols.

These invaders first “had their hindquarters expelled”, the teacher said with a satisfied smile. The Californios won battles in the fall of 1846 in present-day Dominguez Hills, the San Pasqual Valley in San Diego County, and the San Gabriel River near Montebello. But American forces, led by men such as Kearney, Fremont and Stockton, whose surnames still dot the California landscape, marched on Los Angeles with more men and more firepower.

Adobe Flores in South Pasadena.

Adobe Flores in South Pasadena. Bronze plaques displayed on the porch indicate that the one-story whitewashed building is where Mexican General Jose Maria Flores stayed before agreeing to a ceasefire in 1847 during the American War. mexican.

(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

Flores and other Californios gathered at an adobe ranch in Rancho San Pascual, a Mexican land grant that encompassed most of Altadena, Pasadena, South Pasadena, and San Marino. These discussions culminated in the Treaty of Cahuenga, which Americans and Mexicans signed in the modern town of Studio on January 13, 1847. Decades later, the adobe was named in honor of Flores.

“Flores told the Americans, ‘If we don’t get along, we will become guerrilla fighters and flee to the hills,'” Gutierrez said. “It is the only peace treaty in American history dictated by the losing side.”

The armistice allowed Californios to retain their property and promised “equal rights and privileges”. But the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo removed those guarantees a year and a half later. It is this loss, Gutierrez said, that we should remember on July 4, especially since this country has treated Mexican Americans as vassals for too long.

“We [Mexican Americans] have rights as American citizens,” is the message from Californio that should still resonate for everyone 175 years later, he said. “We are as good as you [Yankees]. Just give us a chance to show it.

I asked Fuller Rusch what she learned about the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo growing up. “Zero,” she said with a laugh, then added, “That’s a phrase in school books these days. Maybe.”

THE Professor is proud to teach the treatise to her Latino students in classes where she is “the only gringa in the room.” I tell them, ‘Your ancestors are here, and you shouldn’t lose their history, so go find it!’

“The younger they are,” she added, “the less they know – but the faster they learn.”

A close up of hands holding an open softcover book.

The text of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo can be found in Richard Griswold del Castillo’s book, The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict. The treaty ended the Mexican-American War 175 years ago.

(Myung J. Chun/Los Angeles Times)

Fuller Rusch flipped through photos and paintings of Adobe Flores through the decades: as a ranch, a boarding house, a teahouse, an abandoned mess, and finally the sparkling slice of California history it is today. today. She noted that it was the Anglos who preserved it instead of demolishing it, like too many buildings of the time. The same family has owned it since 1967, holding it for rental.

“Others are able to tell his story,” she said. “It’s a model of life.”

Tenants in nearby apartment buildings happily walked past Gutierrez and Fuller Rusch as they gave their mini-lecture. Cars passed in front of us. Cheerful cries of families enjoying a picnic erupted from nearby Garfield Park.

Gutierrez posed for a photo in front of the mast, with his two national flags, and cracked, “I’ve waited 175 years for this moment.”

California Daily Newspapers

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.

Back to top button