Las Flores Asistencia

Las Flores Location
Picture taken 10:50am 24 Jul 2002

The State of California considers Las Flores a mission asistencia, however it rarely appears as such in histories. I will defer to the state with reservation. There is little left to see at the site; basically just a portion of a wall and the landmark sign. The wall is somewhat protected by a cover that keeps most of the rain off (and keeps the wall in the shade so it photographs poorly when shaded).


Picture taken 10:50am 24 Jul 2002

History

1823. Whatever you call the site, it was developed in 1823 by Padre Antonio Peyri and served Mission San Luis Rey de Francia as well as travelers along El Camino Real.

April 1838. The Las Flores location is most famous for the “battle” between Juan Bautista Alvarado and Carlos Antonio Carrillo. At stake was the governorship of California (the battle was a single cannon shot and Alvarado continued as governor).

After secularization, the Las Flores property (along with Mission San Luis Rey property) was assimilated into Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores; the biggest in California at some 200 square miles in size. The rancho was given to Pio de Jesus Píco and his brother as one of Pio Píco’s land deals.

1864. The rancho was sold to a Píco brother-in-law, Englishman Juan (John) Forster. Forster developed the area and even attempted to start a new city (Forster City) in the area. This attempt failed.

When Forster died the rancho was taken over by James Flood via Richard O’Neill (Flood rented the rancho back to O’Neill).

1888. O’Neill rented the Las Flores adobe to a family named Magee. They remained on the property until 1968 when the last of the family died.

1942. The Marines took over the rancho and its properties for Camp Pendleton. O’Neill’s son Jerome was managing the property at the time. (Side Note: The main house for the rancho is now used as quarters by the commander of Camp Pendleton.)

Location

The remains of the asistencia is on the grounds of Camp Pendleton Marine Base. The basic location of the asistencia has been turned over to the Boy Scouts; what little is left sits on a hill at the back of the Boy Scout area. Take the Las Pulgas Road exit from I5 and enter Camp Pendleton through the Las Pulgas gate (no guarantee–security may not allow civilian entry to the base). Proceed to the first intersection; turn right and just ahead at the bottom of the hill is the Boy Scout camp on the right (a total of about 0.6 miles from the gate). Turn right into the camp and drive (slowly!) through the area and straight across a small (usually dry) stream. Ahead of you at the top of the hill stands the fenced-in remains of the asistencia along with the California landmark sign.

Landmark

California Landmark Sign 616
Picture taken 10:50am 24 Jul 2002

Las Flores (San Pedro) Asistencia

From 1823 to the 1840’s the tile-roofed adobe chapel and hostel at Las Flores, built by Father Antonio Peyri, served as the asistencia to Mission San Luis Rey and provided comfort to travelers on El Camino Real. The adobe structure and adjacent corral were the site of the April 1838 battle between Juan Bautista Alvarado and Carlos Antonio Carrillo contesting the provincial governorship of Alta California.

California Registered Historical Landmark No. 616

Plaque placed by the State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the U.S. Marine Corps and Squibob Chapter, E. Clampus Vitus. September 17, 1983

References

  • California Landmark Sign
  • Graler, Kathie. Spanish Missions and Adobe. Presentation at the Settler Communities Symposium (used to be on the Web at https://www.denix.osd.mil/denix/Public/ES-Programs/Conservation/Legacy/Settler/sett6.html).