La Placita, California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
La Placita
Ghost town
Country United States
State California
County Riverside
Time zone Pacific (PST) (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)

La Placita (originally: La Placita de los Trujillos; nickname: Spanish Town; alternate: San Salvador)[1] is a former settlement and the earliest community established in Riverside County, California, USA.[2] The town was established around 1843[3] on the Santa Ana River, across from the town of Agua Mansa.[4] La Placita and Agua Mansa were the first non-native settlements in the San Bernardino Valley.[5] Together, they were referred to as "San Salvador",[6] and were the largest settlements between New Mexico and Los Angeles in the 1840s.[7]


A group of genízaro colonists from Abiquiú, New Mexico, arrived in the area in the early 1840s.[8] Don Juan Bandini donated a portion of Rancho Jurupa to them on the condition that they would assist in protecting his livestock from Indian raids. Lorenzo Trujillo led ten of the colonist families to 2,000 acres on the "Bandini Donation" on the southeast bank of the Santa Ana River and formed the village of La Placita while others went to the northwest bank of the river and created the town of Agua Mansa.[5][9] Farms, orchards, and vineyards were planted and developed after an extensive irrigation system was incorporated. Livestock were tended on the mesa pasture area to the southeast in what is now Riverside.[5]


The town's first church consisted of an arbor.[7] After the adobe church that was built in 1852 collapsed in quicksand, a new church was built in Agua Mansa. Completed in 1853 and dedicated to San Salvador, the church survived through the Great Flood of 1862.[5] The parish of San Salvador de Jurupa included La Pacita and Agua Mansa; it was the first non-mission parish in Southern California.[10]

The Trujillo Adobe, which had been the home of Lorenzo Trujillo, was donated to the Riverside County Parks Department.[11] The small structure is located just south of the San Bernardino County boundary.[1]


  1. ^ a b Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero E.; Rensch, Ethel G. (1966). Historic Spots in California (3 ed.). Stanford University Press. p. 294. ISBN 0-8047-4020-8. 
  2. ^ Gunther, Jane Davies (1984). Riverside County, California, place names: their origins and their stories. J.D. Gunther. p. 285. 
  3. ^ Brown, John; Boyd, James (1922). History of San Bernardino and Riverside counties: with selected biography of actors and witnesses of the period of growth and achievement. The Western Historical Association. p. 27. 
  4. ^ Dwyer, Jeff (2006). Ghost Hunter's Guide to Los Angeles. Pelican Publishing. p. 102. ISBN 1-58980-404-X. 
  5. ^ a b c d "The Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery". San Bernardino County Museum. Retrieved 8 December 2010. 
  6. ^ Mitchell, Patrick (2006). Santa Ana River Guide: From Crest to Coast – 110 Miles Along Southern California's Largest River System. 209. Santa Ana River Guide: From Crest to Coast – 110 Miles Along Southern California's Largest River System. ISBN 0-89997-411-2. 
  7. ^ a b Hiltner, Nita (January 30, 2010). "Rich history found at Colton cemetery". The Press-Enterprise. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  8. ^ Nostrand, Richard L. (1996). The Hispano Homeland. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 135. ISBN 0-8061-2889-5. 
  9. ^ Crafts, Eliza Persis Russell Robbins; McGehee, Fannie P. (1906). Pioneer days in the San Bernardino valley. Kingsley, Moles & Collins Co. p. 19. 
  10. ^ Hall, Gary. "The Lost City of the Inland Empire, Aqua Mansa". Inside the Inland Empire. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  11. ^ Gunther, p. 549