Our SOCAL Fall 2008 Gathering


SOCAL Fall Gathering Explores

Jean Baptiste “Pomp” Charbonneau’s

Participation in Kearny’s Army of the West and the Opening of the Southern Emigrant Trail into California

Claremont, CA

Warner Springs, CA

On Saturday, November 1, 2008, 26 attendees gathered at the Claremont Public Library to listen to two guest speakers, one who discussed the Southern Emigrant Trail into California and the other, the participation of Jean Baptiste “Pomp” Charbonneau in the march of the Mormon Battalion, part of Kearny’s Army of the West.

Local historian Phil Brigandi discussed the Southern Emigrant Trail and Wayne McKinley, President of the Grand Canyon Chapter, gave the talk on Jean Baptise.  Wayne also briefed everyone on the upcoming Spring Regional in Scottsdale, AZ, being hosted by his Chapter (see 2009 Calendar).

The next day, 17 attendees regathered near Warner Springs, CA, for a field trip, led by Phil, to historic points of interest along the Southern Emigrant Trail.  This included visiting the site of Warner’s Ranch House; Box Canyon, where the Mormon Battalion widened the solid rock walls to the permit the passage of wagons; the Vallecito stage stop of the Butterfield Overland Mail Company; and exploring remnants of the original trail.

After Phil’s tour we were given a private tour of Warner Springs Resort by Betty Rayfield of the Warner Springs Ranch Historical Committee.  We started at the library where we learned some of the history of Warner’s Ranch.  We then visited an original adobe structure, the historic hot springs and the Indian grinding holes.  That evening a few of us stayed at the resort and enjoyed additional discussions over dinner as well as a dip in the hot springs fed pool.

For more information about the historic march of the Mormon Battalion see the January 2009 edition of Golden Notes

To view and download photos from this gathering click on the photo gallery link below.

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(updated 11/15/18)

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