Carmel Magazine

CM Summer 2015

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Page 228 of 291

N or theast of Salinas, where San Juan Grade and Crazy Horse Canyon meet between farm fields, a marker commemorates the former community of Natividad. It's the site of the only nor thern California battle of the Mexican-American War, and the town cropped up here along the old stage line from San Juan Bautista. Natividad, established before the city of Salinas, included a school, hotel, saloon, distillery and, by the 1860s, a post office. When the stage route was later rerouted to travel through the growing community of Salinas, Natividad disappeared. Historian and author Meg Clovis explores lost communities like Natividad, and related Monterey County heritage, as a popular local speaker. This October, she'll give a talk for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), titled "What's in a Name: Place Names of Monterey County." She's also a repeat headliner for the Henry Meade Williams Local History Lecture Series, presented by Carmel's Harrison Memorial Library and the Carmel Public Library Foundation, and for other area organizations. "Monterey County's nickname is 'the cradle of California histor y,' and if you think about it, that's really true," says Clovis, ticking off a list of highlights that includes significant Native American tribes, Spanish settlers, missions, trading and the signing of the state's Constitution in Monterey. Clovis settled locally and star ted exploring area legends after studying ar t history at Mills College and completing a master's in Preserva- C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 5 227 Surveyors map the land at Santa Rita, which was annexed by Salinas in 1975. Throughout its history, the community was also named Sotoville, Pinecate and New Republic. Photo: Courtesy of the Monterey County Free Libraries, Marina CA

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