John Vonderlin: “Coastsiders” Fight Back

Story from John Vonderlin

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“Coastsiders Fight Back” 


Hi June,

  The excerpt below, from Ano Nuevo’s General Plan, tells an interesting story of the Coastsiders’ first efforts to stop the encroachment of outside developers. Well sort of, actually, it is the story of the Quiroste Indian uprising against the Santa Cruz Mission and the religious and actual enslavement it meant for many Native Americans.

  This General Plan, easily accessed online by a websearch of “Ano Nuevo General Plan,” is a very thorough, bordering on treasure trove, compilation of facts about this gateway area of the Coastside, from pre-history to the future. Here’s the homepage below. The excerpted story is on Page 60, but is preceeded by ten pages of the most detailed account of pre-European Coastside life I’ve read. And there is so much more. Great reading. Enjoy. John


 The Preliminary General Plan  and Final EIR/Response to Comments are available for download below. The final general plan will be posted when it is compiled. The general plan has been divided into four plan sections and individual figures for downloading. All files are in PDF format.


Front Cover through Chapter 1:Introduction (1.1 MB)



  (Includes table of contents and executive summary)

Chapter 2:Existing Conditions through Chapter 3:Issues (2.4 MB)

Chapter 4:Park Plan (PDF, 1.5 MB)

Chapter 5:Environmental Analysis through Plan Contributors (2.9 MB)



General Plan Maps (Document Figures): 

Figure 1: Regional (1.3 MB)

Figure 2: Location (1.3 MB)

Figure 3: Existing Facilities (1.0 MB)

Figure 4: Existing Roads and Trails (1.8 MB)

   Roads and Trails Key (127 KB)

Figure 5: Alquist-Priolo Fault Zones

Figure 6: Watersheds(2.0 MB)

Figure 7: Coastal Zone (656 KB)

Figure 8: Vegetation Communities (2.3 MB)

Figure 9: Wildlife Habitat (5.5 MB)

Figure 10: Natural Resource Sensitivity (3.5 MB)

Figure 11: Cultural Resources (484 KB)

Figure 12: Planning Zones (1.1 MB)

Figure 13: Año Nuevo SR Key Draft Proposals (735 KB)

Figure 14: Año Nuevo SP Key Draft Proposals (477 KB)

Figure 15: Proposed Preserves (1.1 MB)


Quiroste Attack on Mission Santa Cruz

A little more than twenty years after greeting the Portola Expedition, the Quiroste again enter into the historical account. This time it is due to their aggressive behavior towards Mission Santa Cruz.

By 1791 members of the Quiroste were entering into the missions for conversion, either voluntarily or not. One man, an elder tribal leader named Charquin, fled Mission San Francisco de Asis’s outpost of San Pedro, near present day Pacifica just days after his reported baptism. He led a small band of renegade Quiroste in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He was eventually captured and sent to the Presidio of Santa Barbara. Despite his capture, the Quiroste continued their resistance. Spanish soldiers, sent out by the missionaries, raided the Indians camp and returned the ones they have

caught to the missions. The Quiroste quietly gathered their remaining forces and attacked Mission Santa Cruz on the evening of the 14th of December 1793. Padre Fermín Lasuén, Serra’s successor as president of the missions in Alta California, wrote of the assault: “I have found out for certain that on the night of the fourteenth of last December the pagan, Indian, and some Christian Indians, from rancherías to the northwest of that mission made an assault on the guard, wounded the corporal in the hand, and another soldier in the shoulder, and set fire to the roof of the corral for the lambs, and the old guard house. The corporal fired a few shots, and with that they withdrew without serious injury to either side.” (Lasuén [1785-1803] 1965: 299).

This was the only time one of the Franciscan missions was attacked in Northern California. The attackers are eventually caught and imprisoned. The Spanish exert their power and control of Alta California and its peoples. The Quiroste resistance was soundly defeated. Charquin died in the stockade of the Presidio in San Diego, and what was left of the once prominent Quiroste tribe was forced to work and die in the Mission system (Milliken, Randall

Time of Little Choice: The Disintegration of Tribal Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area 1769-1810. Ch. 6; Ballena Press, Menlo Park;1995)

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