Panoche Creek

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Coordinates: 36°44′55″N 120°30′48″W / 36.74861°N 120.51333°W / 36.74861; -120.51333
Panoche Creek (Arroyo de Panoche Grande)
Big Panoche
stream
Name origin: Spanish
Country United States
State California
Region Fresno County
Source source
 - location Drains the higher portion of the Diablo Range west of Llanada., San Benito County
 - elevation 2,070 ft (631 m)
 - coordinates 36°37′32″N 121°00′30″W / 36.62556°N 121.00833°W / 36.62556; -121.00833 [1]
Mouth mouth
 - location empties into the San Joaquin Valley, 7.3 miles west of Mendota., Fresno County
 - elevation 259 ft (79 m) [1]
 - coordinates 36°44′55″N 120°30′48″W / 36.74861°N 120.51333°W / 36.74861; -120.51333 [1]

Panoche Creek formerly known as Arroyo de Panoche Grande (Big Sugarloaf Creek)[2] and later anglicized to Big Panoche Creek and later "Panoche Creek". For a time its lower reaches were called "Silver Creek."[1] It is a creek in San Benito County and Fresno County, central California.

The source of this creek is a pond, just east of Panoche Pass. The creek drains the higher portion of the southern Diablo Range west of Llanada, in San Benito County, flowing easterly through the Panoche Valley into Fresno County and emptying to the northeast into the San Joaquin Valley 7.3 miles west of Mendota near the former site of Hayes Station.[1]

Panoche Creek has the largest drainage area of any stream on the east slope of the Diablo Range.[1]

History[edit]

Arroyo de Panoche Grande was part of a route between the Indian settlements of the central coast of California and the San Joaquin Valley. It was also a watering place on El Camino Viejo in the San Joaquin Valley between Arroyita de Panoche (Little Sugarloaf Creek) and Arroyo de Cantua (Cantua Creek).[3]

Spanish soldiers followed Panoche Creek on expeditions to explore the region, to pursue and punish neighboring, unfriendly Indians raiding mission cattle or horses, or to bring in subjects to convert in Indian Reductions.[4] Musteneros followed it into the big valley, to catch wild horses and drive them back, or over the El Camino Viejo to be sold. Some settlers came over the route to establish Las Juntas in 1810. Later vaqueros used it move cattle between the coast and the big valley.

Both Panoche Creek and Panoche Valley, are referred to as the "Big Panoche", distinguishing them from the Little Panoche Creek, and valley.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Panoche Creek
  2. ^ Mildred B. Hoover, et al. Historic Spots in California. 3rd edition. Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1966. p.89
  3. ^ Mildred B. Hoover, et al. Historic Spots in California. 3rd edition. Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1966. pp.89.
  4. ^ Henry D. Barrows and Luther A. Ingersoll, A Memorial and Biographical History of the Coast Counties of Central California, The Lewis Publishing Company, 1893, Chapter 3